Pat Gelsinger returns to Intel, takes charge as new CEO

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Pat Gelsinger has taken the charge as new Intel CEO replacing Bob Swan, who stepped down from CEO’s role this week. Gelsinger has become the eight CEO in Intel’s long history. But for Gelsinger, who very recently was VMware CEO, Intel isn’t an unknown organisation.

Pat Gelsinger has a very long association with Intel in his professional life. He started his career at Intel as a quality control technician in 1979. Gradually he moved up the ladder in different key positions in the company. He was named the first-ever CTO at Intel in 2001. Later he led Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group as SVP and GM from 2005 till 2009.

Gelsinger joined storage giant EMC (now Dell EMC) as President and COO in 2009 after he had left Intel. After three years at EMC, he was named as VMware CEO in 2012. After successfully leading VMware for eight years, Gelsinger decided to return to Intel and took charge as CEO this February.

With three-decade-long work experience at Intel. Probably it’s right to say, Intel has played a significant role in shaping Gelsinger’s career. For Gelsinger, his past work experience at Intel would surely be more than just handy to manage and run Intel now.

But Intel hasn’t had a smooth run during the past decade. Right from leadership and management crisis to product failures and market fallout to organisational restructuring. Intel has been through troublesome periods that took some shine-off from its iconic image.

All that is open and out in the media and public domain, which Gelsinger is aware of. He would have seen Intel externally as well during the past years. And Gelsinger gave a hint of that in a note, he wrote to Intel employees at the time of joining the company on February 15.

As the incoming CEO, I am just really thrilled that we have the opportunity to take this great icon of a company, this company that has been crucial to every aspect of technology, and have it be that leader again into the future.”

Because I believe that Intel has a treasure trove of technologists, of technology, and ultimately its core DNA is being that technology leader for the future. I’m just thrilled as a technologist, as a geek at heart, to be able to be in that leadership role to help bring the passions, the history, the opportunity of this great company forward as never before. Our best days are in front of us,” – Pat Gelsinger.

Though Gelsinger’s note to Intel employees was short — It was quite profoundly touching almost all aspect of Intel – from technology strength to glorious past to opportunity ahead. The note does sum up a lot about what is Gelsinger’s vision as Intel CEO and his leadership.

Gelsinger is among the rare league of CEOs that believes in having open communication with employees. On the second day, after assuming the CEO’s office at Intel’s headquarters in Santa Clara, California, Gelsinger wrote a letter to Intel employees.

In his letter, Gelsinger pointed out four priorities for his organisation and how it will help in making Intel a leading semiconductor company.

1. Be the leader in every category in which we compete. We must stay ahead of customer needs and become more agile in a very competitive market and prove the differentiated value of our products, our roadmap and our manufacturing capability.

2. Execute flawlessly to our commitments. Customers must be able to rely on Intel for their products and their strategies for the future. While we must set aggressive targets to regain share and leadership, they must also be achievable and done with the highest quality.

3. Passionately innovate with boldness and speed. We will be a fountain for continuous innovation in the industry through our unmatched IP, engineering talent and research into new next-generation computing architectures.

4. Reignite our culture to attract and motivate the best engineers and technologists on the planet. Intel must be the place where the best talent in the world can fulfil their dreams. We need to untether our enormous energy and potential for our business with a vibrant, inclusive and open culture. We need to bring back some of the Groveian disciplines for direct, transparent and data-driven decisions and accountability.

These four priorities address most of the problems and challenges that Intel has been facing in recent years. In the technology industry, Gelsinger is known for his proven capabilities, passion and technology foresightedness. But what makes him such an exceptional leader is how he goes about his job, responsibilities, priorities and conveys to his staff without wasting any time.

And that’s how top leadership can rapidly transform and lead any organisation by direct, effective communication and constant engagement with the employees. Gelsinger has been doing exactly that since he joined Intel.

“I’m thrilled and honoured to be working with this incredibly talented global team, and I look forward to engaging with all of you. I’ve already been working to get up to speed on the business and will continue to prioritize much of my time over the coming weeks to listen and learn. You can expect frequent, ongoing updates from me along the way. I know Intel’s best days are in front of us. Let’s get started,” – Pat Gelsinger wrote in the letter to Intel employees.

Now with Pet Gelsinger at the helm of affairs as Intel CEO, over the next 2 to 3 quarters, the markets could see Intel competing strongly in semiconductor space.

(Image credit – Intel Corporation)

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