Monday, January 28, 2008

Come Sayle Away

A lot of things have happened since my last post. I know it's been a while. I'm pretty sure my boss knows I'm the author of this blog, and has decided to discourage my blogging my burying me with work, travel, and coverage for him. With a long holiday vacation thrown in, I'm just now coming up for air.

The big news when I got back from vacation was that Bill Sayles had left Intel. It's significant inside IT because he was a VP, was visible, fairly well known, and owned most of the SAP re-platform work taking place. The announcement was typically vague. Given this, rumors abound about why he left or was forced out. They are all over the map, and any negative or unsavory idea you can imagine has been floated. I have no idea why he left, but experience tells me that the truth is far more mundane than people expect. Perhaps he got a better offer. Maybe he and JJ had a falling out about something and decided it was best to part ways. Maybe he took the G10 (and above) VSP package that was offered a couple of months back. I don't expect to ever know, and don't particularly want to. While I didn't know him well, he seemed to be a straight shooter who called things at face value and drove hard for results. He also seemed to be more of a pure IT guy than some other staff members, and I'm sorry to see him go.

I completely missed posting about Q3 earnings, and have only a few comments on Q4. My summary: the numbers were good, but not good enough. Wall Street cares about earnings relative to expectations - goodness is defined as hitting an expected goal. Doing extremely well and still missing the goal is perceived as under performing. The consensus seems to be that Intel had a good Q4, but missed on EPS by $0.02. So the outside view is not stellar. But the inside view seems pretty good. I certainly wish we'd hit the earnings forecast so stock would be moving up, but the numbers all seemed solid.

Our IT leaders descended on Santa Clara a couple of weeks ago for the annual IT Leadership Conference. Information about what happened there is sketchy at best, but I really haven't looked too hard for it. My boss has been pretty quiet about what happened there, but I expect some info to be passed down this week. He did tell me there are no plans for another IT layoff this year, but if I recall that's consistent with what JJ has already said to the masses.

Finally, in response to the comments about me and Jeff M. being the same person, my feelings on this are: believe whatever you want to believe. It's interesting that some of you smell a conspiracy. But have you guys considered that Jeff has no reason to post anonymously? Have you read his blog? And while the notion is flattering to me, have you read my this blog? I suppose Jeff could dumb down his writing somewhat, be more verbose, far less funny, and post very infrequently. But this fails in the way as most conspiracy theories do: it assumes that the would-be conspirators give a shit enough to scheme, plot, engineer, and execute something this elaborate. Do you have any idea how much energy would would take to try and impersonate someone else here while writing two other blogs? I barely have time to post as myself. Sorry guys, but the truth is I'm just another run-of-the-mill IT worker bee.

I'll address some comments and a few other items later this week.


Anonymous said...

Good to see u back. Bill's exit was a shocker. Curious to know why he left. He was my CIO, my leader.
Don't know if 'Newman' has any clue about IT. As the guy on 2nd floor said 'When its over, the only good thing SAP Replatform will do is - erase painful memories of MFO and create new one for those who survive'.
Don't know if Bill realized it and paid the price.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! It's been a while, and you were missed. All the "underground" sites I know of (Intel Incompetence, Intellion, Unofficial Intel Blog and yours) have been quiet for quite some time. I don't know if it's because people have gotten fed up and quit/got fired, or maybe they just don't care anymore.

Even the Intel IT blog only has one post in January. I guess things over there are sort of deflated as well.

Anyway, good to see you again, and I hope you continue giving us your view of things.

Anonymous said...

Not to burst your bubble, but nobody outside of Intel IT knows or cares about Bill Sayle. If anything, we are happy to see one less Intel exec off the payroll.

Anonymous said...

mfo & pain? are u kidding? those who screwed it got promoted. gimme a break. whadaya say? risk taking? ya!

Rumormonger said...

I'd heard on pretty good authority that Bill was "walked to the door".

Anonymous at 8:53, don't be so self-centered. If your VP that was a strong leader suddenly left, you'd be talking about it too.

Anonymous said...

Well, it's "nice" to see that Intel treats its VP's pretty much the same way as the little people.

Further confirmation that the decision I made to leave was a good one. Don't miss this crap at all.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you mentioned Bill Sayles, although I was surprised you used the full name. That was a HUGE loss for Intel IT. He was a great character! His dad was a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox (, which explained a lot, as he played Life like he was in the major leagues. He was an arrogant SOB, but he was also really cool and really smart. He had a great smile, and I heard he played a mean guitar, although, regretfully, I never had the privilege to hear him play. The irony of *him* losing his job after being the hatchet man for so many of the recent lay-offs is hard to miss. It was not a task he asked for or wanted, but he had the guts to apply a strategy that was consistent with setting the right direction for the department. That was what I appreciated about him. He actually had an opinion of his own, and he stuck to it. He had a bottom line beyond which he couldn't be pushed. That was a unique quality in this environment. He wasn't a "yes man". He wasn't trying to win a popularity contest. His actions were consistent with the strategy of the company; he didn't just pick off the easy targets. He had balls.

Bill, if you are reading this, I want you to know that I miss you around this place. You were great! I hope you don't feel bad about what happened, because you shouldn't. I have no idea why you left, and I really don't care. I don't need to know the details. If you did something stupid, welcome to the club--who hasn't? Your essential integrity is unmistakable. You got an ugly job done and you got killed by friendly fire. It doesn't make you any less of a hero.

Anonymous said...

No blogs from Intel IT Guy in quite a while...Maybe he's been fired...Maybe his boss really did find out he's the author of this blog and threatened to fire his ass if he doesn't stop.

Anonymous said...

We have been told by management that the average Focal raise this year will be 3%. Anybody else hear the same message? Is it possible that the average is actually higher, but telling folks that it's only 3% will make people feel better about their raises?

Anonymous said...

One thing to note regarding Bill Sayles is he wasn't an "Intel Inside" guy that grew up drinking the cool-aid for two decades. His refreshing outside perspective was one sorely needed at Intel at his level and above.

Note, it took outside fix-it men in all the following cases to turn mega-companies around:

GE - Jack Welch
IBM - Louis Gerstner
HP - Mark Hurd

These guys revamped their entire companies and reinvented cultures, and redefined success.I don't think any of their boards waited as long (7+ yrs.) All stock holders need to start voting those proxies you get each year, and get some decision makers and leaders on that board. After all, management is bringing change to the trenches, why not return some change up at the top.

Intel should be down a similar road to the prior ailing GE, IBM, and even HP now, but continues to honor and revere the IntelInside crowd that has never ceased with the "growth" mantra, and beleive no outside leadership could possibly do justice in running the ship off the sandbar it presently sits upon.

Interesting that Bill was one guy from the outside who tried. Where is he now?

Finally, enjoy the fact Focal is even 3%. How could they give out more as a flatlined $20-something stock for now moving towards a decade.

Anonymous said...

What's the deal? Why did you stop blogging? Are you no longer working for Intel or about to be fired unless you stop this blog?

BillA said...

You still there?

Anonymous said...

Interesting Circuit blog recently on the idea making everybody's pay grade (salary) public. The blogger fails to see why this would create a lot more jealousy and bitterness than you can imagine.

Anonymous said...

I'm not at Intel, but know Bill, and yes, he is a good guy, not the cookie cut from the Inhell mold, but smarter, more sincere, and funnier than the average Inteller.

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a manager many of Intel's IT individual contributors are underpaid. Making personal pay details public would cause a huge storm. Remember the T-Comp message when you first joined the company. Well options haven't paid out much for almost 10 years and RSU's are but a shadow of the option promise. Additionally HR salary surveys are so generic it's impossible to compare real IT skills with market rates.

Anonymous said...

Think I know what Intel IT Guy is up to these days. Believe he has sampled the wind and somehow found out about the next round of as yet unannounced massive layoffs at Intel during latter part of Q3 and stretching into Q4 and Q1-2 2009. Original estimate from my high-level corporate contacts within Intel was between 10,500 to 11,200, but this has been upped due to current and projected market conditions to between 11,300 to 15,800. Yup, that's right Intel folks, don't you just luv workin there, never knowing when the hammers going to hit! They just luv screwing with your minds, don't they! If Intel IT Guy is smart, he is doing what I discretely suggested in a personal email. He is already crafting and implementing an exit strategy to get the heck out of Dodge before all Hell breaks loose before the end of this year. Otherwise, he will very likely end up by Q1-Q2 2009 swimming in the pool hoping to God someone throws him a life preserver, or else run him over with a handtruck and put him out of his Intel induced misery. Intel IT Guy, you've got enough balls and talent to make it on your own, stop waisting your life building someone elses house Dude! The Channel is hungry for your IT skills and talent. Get to Work Man! Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Intel Shareholder Proxies are hitting the mailboxes. Who's voting the same old crowd back again to keep that performance where it's at, or is it finally time to vote just the opposite on anything the board recommends a vote on? Especially their re-election? Opinions??

Anonymous said...

The writing has been on the wall for the past year that IT isn't a revenue source, doesn't add value and can be outsourced or offshored at any time.

While IT isn't a revenue source like the platform groups, the IT VP has failed to demonstrate how IT does to help sales and being innovative engineers creating uses for Intel products across the enterprise.

Working at Intel has a been a great experience but life after Intel is even better.

Anonymous said... least post a hello... Either that or they finally did figure you out. You agreed to stop posting to save your job, but continue to update the comments. (which is a manual process...thus you are logging in)

If this is true and you want to drop me a note: killa_mario [at]

If not...well, post something!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Since Intel IT is pretty much irrelevant now, we need somebody who currently works within one of the Intel design projects to start a different blog. Any volunteers?