Earnings come out tomorrow, and assuming I'm not still working on my taxes, I'll get a summary posted. Someone commented on the previous post about an article about focal in the Oregonian. (I've been trying to comment on the blog discussion about the post for the past two weeks but I can't get logged in, so I'll do it here.) Overall a good article. It's difficult to explain what focal is and how it works to people who haven't gone through it. I think it tends to sound a little more Draconian than it really is. But there is a mandate to identify the bottom of the pack (relative to the rest) and give them a strong message every year.
One correction I would make to the article is the statement that "the bottom ratings ensure that a certain number of employees are pushed out." That's not quite accurate. The goal is to ensure that the bottom employees get a strong performance message and know they have to step it up. If managers are doing their jobs (which is not always the case) an employee should know they have a performance problem before their focal review.
In preparation for earnings, a couple of more things to ponder. Tom's Hardware, a site that has not been historically Intel friendly, published an article about Intel gaining back market share from AMD.
...AMD has seen a dramatic drop in its U.S. market share for desktop retail sales.
We'll have to see how Intel positions this in the earnings announcement, but regardless this is good news for Intel. And it doesn't seem unexpected given the performance and popularity of Intel's new processors. Last week AMD also announced their second waring for earnings this quarter. I'm not happy that AMD is having problems, but I am happy that the market is embracing Intel's products. The competition between Intel and AMD is great for consumers.