Intel CEO Says It's Going To Take At Least 5 Years To Right The Ship
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is a guy with strong opinions, and he's not afraid to voice them. In October, he vowed to outpace Moore's Law, even if it means "exhausting" the periodic table to do so. He also infamously remarked that AMD's tenuous technology leadership was "over" with the release of Alder Lake and Sapphire Rapids. Most recently, he commented that Intel hasn't actually lost market share to AMD—it's simply given up the gains AMD has earned, due to supply constraints.
Pat's latest statements to the press are markedly less controversial, though. Speaking to the Economic Club of Washington yesterday, he said fixing up Intel's missteps is "a five year assignment," as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Continuing, he explained somewhat confusingly, "Will it be done in four, maybe less than that? No way. Could it be six, seven, eight years I'm CEO? Maybe if we're having fun and healthy and good."
This could be an off-the-cuff comment that shouldn't be taken too seriously, but it's an interesting window into the mind of a man who once left his position as Chief Technology Officer at Intel only to return years later as its CEO. Gelsinger has been forthright about Intel's current position in the market and honestly—if somewhat tacitly—acknowledges the company's missteps in recent years.
Chipzilla's fortunes haven't completely turned around yet, but we've not even crossed a year with Gelsinger as the CEO. In that time, he's slapped down more than $100 billion in commitments to new chip manufacturing, which would seem to indicate his intention to have Intel regain the reins of the microprocessor industry through rebuilding its fabrication process advantage it previously held over its competitors for more than a decade.
In the short term, Intel's shares are down after a prediction of reduced margins over the next few years, but that probably doesn't worry Gelsinger. In Washington, he said "If you want to measure me on a quarterly basis, I fail. If you want to measure me on a two, three-, four-year basis of turning around an industry and an iconic company, that's what I want to be measured against." Self-assured words to be sure. Let's hope for Intel's sake that his confidence is well-merited.