In today’s competitive global economy, companies need to engage with key people, including its policy makers and the employee force, to thrive or move ahead. The world’s largest computer chip manufacturer Intel has done both.
Recently, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich disclosed that the company is investing $7 billion to complete its factory in Arizona. It will translate to the provision of 3,000 jobs. Krzanich had just come from a meeting with President Trump at the White House, and he had harped on the tax and regulatory policies that the Trump Administration is pushing forward.
The announcement came weeks after Intel joined over a hundred firms in challenging Trump’s Executive Order, which temporarily blocked the U.S. entry of all refugees and of immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations. In late January, Brian Krzanich tweeted, “as a company co-founded by an immigrant, we support lawful immigration. We will provide impacted employees with Intel’s full support.”
The New Realities
To date, Intel’s new crop of executives seems to be adapting themselves to a succession of new realities. It will be recalled that the late founder and CEO of Intel Corporation, Andy Grove, who helped transform his firm into the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, had adhered to the battle cry “Engage and then plan.”
On the other hand, Grove himself was a survivor of the Holocaust who arrived in the United States after fleeing the Soviet invasion of his native Hungary in the 1950s. It was among the reasons the current Intel chief had been critical of the Trump immigration ban.
Yet frowning on one decision or policy made by the President did not necessarily mean it would not be receptive to other plans of the Trump Administration. Intel, like Apple and other big, established technology firms, have shown support for the Trump administration’s business-friendly policies. As himself said, disagreement with certain policies does not mean walking away, as it follows the strategy of engagement.
Stacy J. Smith, who oversees manufacturing and sales, said Intel would want to consider itself apolitical. “Intel engages, whatever the administration,” he said in interviews following the announcement made by Krzanich. Smith maintained that Intel’s ranking officials focus on issues they care about.
Trump was pleased to take credit and thanked the Intel chief. He called the Intel Arizona plant “a great investment in jobs and innovation.”
Selling the Same Horse Twice
The semiconductor firm had announced the construction of the same factory back in 2011 during Barack Obama’s Presidency. Construction work on the Fab 42 was stopped in 2014 owing to a sales slump.
Business analysts believe the decision to restart work on the factory is driven more by industry pressure to create more advanced types of chips in keeping with the times. The continuing march of technology has led to many innovations, among them robotics.