Incoming Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has said that the company must “deliver better products” than Apple, which he described as a “lifestyle company,” and says that Intel’s best days are “in front of it” (via The Oregonian).
Speaking at an Intel all-hands meeting yesterday, Gelsinger derisively implied that Apple is merely a “lifestyle company,” so Intel must be able to surpass its technology:
“We have to deliver better products to the PC ecosystem than any possible thing that a lifestyle company in Cupertino. We have to be that good, in the future.”
The jibe at Apple comes after the launch of Apple Silicon last year, which has begun to displace Intel chips inside Mac computers. The M1 chip, Apple’s first custom silicon processor for the Mac, has far surpassed the capabilities of equivalent Intel offerings, with markedly better performance and power consumption.
Gelsinger will replace Bob Swan as Intel CEO, having already spent 30 years at the company before leaving in 2009. He was the company’s first Chief Technology Officer before becoming CEO of VMware. Speaking to employees, Gelsinger insisted that Intel has its best days “in front of it.”
He joins the company at a time of crisis as it contends with multiple threats. With major client Apple dropping Intel for its own custom silicon, and Microsoft expected to follow suit in the near future, Intel has struggled to deliver technological innovations. This is after the company has repeatedly reported delays with its latest processors, while its main competitor, AMD, has proceeded to capture valuable market share.
In December, a major hedge fund with a one-billion-dollar stake in Intel, Third Point, issued a letter urging Intel to take “immediate action” and shake up its business model to combat the mounting threats to the company. Gelsinger’s arrival will go some way to appeasing shareholders, but the company has some way to go to regain its footing.
Gelsinger starts as CEO next month, having been lured away from his current job with a package reportedly worth $116 million.