Getting personal: 25 years of Intel
TG Daily: Let me give you a couple keywords, what's your first thought when you hear them?
Clock speed ... A great opportunity that turned out to be a burden.
Timna ... The most brilliant engineering project, the biggest marketing failure. A great education for myself, in respect to the business.
AMD ... What? [pause] We are going to give them tough competition.
32-bit ... Part of the evolution.
Windows Vista ... No comment. It's the next OS, we need to look at it and see.
Free time ... I love it.
TG Daily: You have been with Intel 25 years. Somehow, you don't fit the image of a 'dry' high-level manager of an IT corporation with 100,000 employees. Your casual "the guy-next-door" appearance and your energy could be perceived as a much better fit for the environment of a startup or a company like Google. How do you fit into Intel?
Mooly Eden: I believe that you always have different types of people and different styles. My style is the style that I have learned in Israel. I am very emotional and I am very direct. At the end of the day, I believe in the spirit of diversity. The company looks at performance, at the risk taking, at the deliverables, your ability to manage. The bottom line of my style apparently was positive, because I got an opportunity. So, overall, I would say that some people enjoy my style and some have difficulty to digest it...but that's me.
TG Daily: Let's take a look back. 25 years ago, it probably was not an obvious choice in Israel to apply at a semiconductor company. Why did you choose to work for Intel?
Mooly Eden: Well, I actually have three different Intels in my life. First, I was hired as part of the startup crew to build up Fab 8 in Israel. It simply looks very challenging to start something from scratch. That was something totally new for Israel. I spent about six, seven years in Fab 8 in Jerusalem. We built EPROMs, but soon moved over to microprocessors and became the biggest producer of 286s. EPROM is a very complex technology - if you can do that, you can do other technologies as well.
But the fab was too disciplined for me and I am not a disciplined person in my nature. I looked into ways to change my career, to change from being a staff member of Fab 8 to become a member of the design center in Haifa. My goal was to spend about one year there and get up to speed in the design community. I did some design and I managed the cache team. There were some problems with Pentium MMX in 1995. I believe that this was an opportunity to show my capabilities as a manager, because it was a tough project. I eventually became the manager of the Israel Development Center (IDC), where I was managing about 1500 people.
My third Intel is the company in the U.S. I got an opportunity to become the Director of Marketing and introduce Centrino. I do not know many places that give you such an opportunity.
TG Daily: How difficult was it to leave Israel and your achievements and home behind?
Mooly Eden: It wasn't a big move. When I was asked to move, I was asked to introduce Centrino. At the time, I was the general manager of IDC and they asked me to move as an individual contributor, as a program manager. I was simply flattered. But the plan was that I would introduce 1 million units to the U.S. market. Once the manufacturing machine was up and running, I thought they would not need me anymore. And, actually, after 7 months, I was done and I returned to Israel. After two months, I got an offer to come back to the U.S. to do marketing. I knew already a lot about the U.S. and how my family would adapt.