Intel CEO sees future growth overseas
By Jane Larson
|Craig Barrett, chief executive officer of Intel Corp., spoke during a session at the Gartner Symposium ITxpo 200, held recently at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Bloomberg News Service library photo
As chief executive officer of Intel Corp., the world's largest maker of computer chips, Barrett, 63, sees the company's markets shifting from the United States to countries such as China and Russia, where computers and the infrastructure surrounding them are just taking hold and rapidly growing.
Some jobs might follow, he warned during a recent question-and-answer session, because of the overseas growth and because those markets have greater emphasis on education than the United States.
Q. The United States is diminishing as one of Intel's biggest markets. What do you see as Intel's next big geographic markets?
A. The U.S. is still a big market for us, but it has been declining in volume and revenue terms for the last decade or so. ...The Asian Pacific marketplace that's all of Asia, excluding Japan is bigger than the U.S. as a single market and I expect we will see Asia continue to grow. All of the emerging markets will continue to grow: Asia, Latin America, Russia, the eastern European countries and even the Middle East.
Q. Why is that?
A. The emerging markets are just putting in their information technology infrastructure, their computer communication infrastructure. They're very aggressive about doing this. ...The governments recognized what they have to do to be competitive in the future is to invest in the IT (information technology) infrastructure.
Q. What is the future of the computer chip and the personal computer?
A. You're going to see more of the same. We continue to provide more processing power almost every month, we put a new chip out. ...But we're providing more than just clock speed; we provide performance for the marketplace. You can easily define that as a mobile marketplace for laptop computers, as a desktop computer marketplace and as a marketplace for servers, work stations, high-end computers.... We're segmenting our products into each of those areas to provide performance and user benefits.
Q. What are the chances that the economic cycle isn't a dip but a longer-lasting market adjustment?
A. Oftentimes, we get too preoccupied with what's going on in the U.S. because that's where we sit, and most people in the United States don't go around the world and see what's happening. I clearly don't think that even in the U.S. marketplace it's a dip, for a variety of reasons. One is, there's a lot of exciting technology coming out.
Q. Will high-tech jobs leave the United States?
A. Jobs are going to follow where the educated people are. China educates more engineers than the U.S. India educates more IT professionals than the U.S. ....So while the U.S. for one reason or another is de-emphasizing education in the high-tech area, every other emerging economy in the world is emphasizing it.
Q. What should be done?
A. ...What you need are more and better and dedicated teachers. ... We obviously have a problem getting qualified people into the system, keeping qualified people in the system, compensating teachers in the way that is sufficient to keep them motivated.