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Ex-AMD CEO Ruiz offers advice for incoming Intel chief

Ex-AMD CEO Ruiz offers advice for incoming Intel chief

Hector Ruiz claims Intel is no longer the company it was a decade ago, and offers Otellini's successor some advice - somewhat ironically, given his departure from the same role at AMD.

The announcement in November last year that Intel's chief executive Paul Otellini was to retire from the company in May didn't come as much of a shock, but the fact that the company has yet to name a successor is at the very least mildly surprising. With the tock ticking down to Otellini's departure, the former chief executive of long-time rival AMD Hector Ruiz has offered some words of advice.

Ruiz left AMD in 2008, when the company was suffering from extensive losses. Now, however, he has offered some sage advice for whomever is to take the helm at his once and former biggest rival - and claims that Intel needs to change its ways.

'Intel isn’t the company it was a decade ago, when it could use its dominance to sway nearly every aspect of the computing market in its favour,' Ruiz writes in a column for Businessweek, offhandedly referring to the company's well-documented anti-competitive behaviour in the past. 'Although Intel remains the top player in PCs, mobile technology for smartphones and tablets is the faster-growing arena, and more nimble rivals have taken control. In mobile, Intel is the underdog.'

His advice to combat ARM, the market leader in mobile and embedded processors and a company making increasing waves in the laptop and server markets that drive Intel's principal profits, is simple: branch out from being a 'PC chip' maker to being a computing company. 'There is no reason to let the media, Wall Street, or anyone else define Intel as purely a PC technology company. Intel may be the underdog in mobile today, but if the company makes a serious commitment to developing technology for that market, it could quickly outstrip competitors. Intel should re-position itself as a leader in computing of all kinds.

Ruiz also tells Intel's incoming chief to split the company up, becoming a portfolio company in charge of multiple autonomous business units. It's a risky strategy, but one that could pay dividends: each unit will be able to operate independently, but draw upon the resources of the holding company above them. It could, in theory, result in shorter times to market and more innovative products - but it would also likely increase costs at a time when companies are looking to trim the bottom line.

While Ruiz's advice is sound, it comes somewhat ironically as Ruiz himself admits: 'I spent an important part of my career battling Intel as the head of smaller rival Advanced Micro Devices, both in the marketplace and in the courtroom where we challenged Intel’s monopolistic practices.' Another irony will doubtless have occurred to fans of AMD, a company which is equally no longer the relative giant it was ten years ago: where were these bright, hopeful and potentially disaster-averting ideas in 2008, when Ruiz could have put his mind to work saving the slowly sinking ship that was AMD?

Nevertheless, the column is worth reading in full, and Ruiz is certainly right about one thing: whoever Intel names as Otellini's successor is going to have an interesting career ahead of them.

10 Comments

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Corky42 22nd March 2013, 16:06 Quote
Hey Mr new chief executive of Intel, i used to run a company that was making a loss, so listen to me cause i know how to screw thing up real good.
greigaitken 22nd March 2013, 17:32 Quote
He sounds like he wants to be 'a good man'
you better have more to offer than that if you fight intel.
Gareth Halfacree 22nd March 2013, 17:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by greigaitken
you better have more to offer than that if you fight intel.
He doesn't want to fight Intel: he was ousted as AMD's CEO in 2008.
rollo 22nd March 2013, 20:22 Quote
Ousted / sacked the later been more accurate.
Gareth Halfacree 22nd March 2013, 20:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Ousted / sacked the later been more accurate.
No, I think ousted covers it quite well.
ChromeX 23rd March 2013, 15:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Hey Mr new chief executive of Intel, i used to run a company that was making a loss, so listen to me cause i know how to screw thing up real good.

Exactly this, looks like Mr Ruiz needs to **** off!
AlphaAngel 23rd March 2013, 15:11 Quote
There is a lot of hostility here. I don't know about you guys but I usually learn a lot when I fail, usually more than than when I succeed.
greigaitken 23rd March 2013, 20:31 Quote
"He doesn't want to fight Intel: he was ousted as AMD's CEO in 2008."

Yeah, i meant maybe he was the wrong guy to fight intel in first place.

I'd totally manage to run intel / amd, i mean i've built loads of pcs and even modded a couple of cases.
Here's my advice to the intel new guy
Wanna sell more cpu's?
make them sexy, run some ads where the chicks dig the guy with the fast intel chip (with flames). slow is never sexy - the amd guy cant go to the party cause he's still waiting for super-pi to finish.
rayson 23rd March 2013, 21:06 Quote
man so true ^
Xir 25th March 2013, 07:54 Quote
Yes, splitting up AMD into Flash*, CPU-Design, CPU-Production and Graphics-Design, then killing two of these sub-divisions by going fabless and spilling all your production knowledge (which helped in designing the final product), that all worked really well for AMD, didn't it?
*looks at stock* :'(

He's right about Intel using it's leverage to prevent AMD from making money back then (when they still could) though.

*back when Ruiz got to the helm, AMD was a big player in Flash
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