Paul Otellini at IDF San Francisco: Will Intel ReTake the Lead From AMD?


I am in San Francisco for the Intel Developer's Forum, and yesterday morning I heard Paul Otellini, Intel's CEO, speak for the first time. It wasn't great. Now, I'm not a big believer that CEOs need to be extroverts or great public speakers, but I do believe they need to understand where there strengths are. Either Otellini wasn't well prepared, or public speaking isn't his strength.

If public speaking isn't his thing, I admire him for having the guts to get up in front of a few thousand techies and give a keynote address. But, I came away unimpressed and I'm sure a few others share my view. I think he should have let someone else do it – someone who is more dynamic and "smooth." I'm curious as to whether or not you agree. Is it more important that the CEO speak, or that the best speaker speak?

That aside, I will say Intel is on an interesting path. AMD has received very positive press over the last year or so, and is perceived in some circles to have taken the lead in the processor wars. Intel has pushed the development of the quad core architecture (keep in mind dual core was only recently released) and will begin shipping product in November. Intel is also focused on a future of wireless connected devices of all kinds, which I think is right on target.

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The only thing I have to complain about is that Otellini pinned the future of wireless on 802.11n, and I don't think that is right. Ultrawideband is the wireless technology of the future, for many reasons I won't bore you with here. 802.11n will simply lead to faster access points, because that is the primary paradigm associated with that family of technologies.

To get to the point though, I think whatever internal execution problems existed at Intel must have been resolved, because the company is pushing an aggressive technical development schedule that won't succeed in a bloated bureaucratic company.