It’s About People – No Joke!

I am getting down to a handful of days before I retire from Intel. Officially 26 days, but who is counting. With the holidays and vacation time that I will be taking – really the time is very short. I wrote a blog post internally that I want to share with you all. When you look back on 28+ years, there are lots of thinks that cross your mind. Some good, some bad and the others a bit ugly. Well, here is my post:

This will be my last serious or almost serious post for my career inside the four walls called Intel. Many folks were wondering if Steve was going to write something that was going to set Planet Blue on fire or maybe get himself a little Jeff Moriarty treatment. I am pretty sure that Planet Blue will be safe from any flames from this post. Jeff’s standing as blog king and chief pot stirrer will not be dethroned. I have been writing in Planet Blue for quite  sometime – started back in December 2006 and this post is my 252nd. Thinking back to my fear of jumping into this blogging thing – I guess I quickly got over that fear.

For over 28 years, I have been a loyal and dedicated Intel employee. I bleed blue! Like my profile says – 17 years inside the factory and the last 11+ in Information Technology. I still remember my first supervisor, Nadine Hill. She is still an Intel employee. She took a chance on someone that had no clue what chip manufacturing actually was (I thought it was chocolate chips). Those early days in Wafer Sort, Test, Burn-in and Finish were definitely some great times! I met many people that I remember before they became VP’s (Doug Davis the PE). One of my more famous moments comes when I asked Andy Grove to leave the production floor because he came in without a smock. At that time, I did not know exactly who he was by sight. Oh well, he thanked me and went and got a smock. I remember a certain young man that was working closely with me throughout my days in T6, JJ Roberts. Another loyal and dedicated Intel employee that I had the pleasure of working with early on in his career.

I had the pleasure of moving to Oregon and starting up the DT1 sort/test floor. A move that was a great stepping stone for me and my family. I spent three winters in the Aloha campus. Fond memories there as well! A couple of them come to mind quickly. First, we were first trying to come up with 6″ wafer shipping materials and I was asked to look into that. So, I went off to set up using the materials that the silicon came in on and developed a packing methodology that allowed us reuse materials. Had the pleasure of presenting that solution to Craig Barrett. But, maybe the best memory was we were having some problems in D1 with damaged wafers. I took one look at the damage and pointed out where it was coming from… Only to be told, you’re wrong! I bet Bill Siu his paycheck against mine – that I was right. I was right.. Bill has left Intel and I never did get to collect on the bet.

When one of softball buddy from Arizona, Scooter Belew was up in Oregon visiting – asked me if I thought about coming back to Az – my wife answered for me. “Yes, he can start tomorrow!” She did not care if I worked some odd shift or cared for the job, she want away from the weather.. Some like the rain, my family – not so much. We headed back to Az, where I started working in A4/T11. Working in the plastics assembly test line was fun! We shipped lots of product every week. We showed that the US sites can do high volume manufacturing for assembly test.  We worked hard and played hard. I can remember lots of quarterlies that were out of control. We were banded from plenty of places.. I had the pleasure of meeting Phil Ward. Later on, my wife and I introduced him to a friend of my wives and the rest is history. There were many more folks in A4/T11 that I could mention.. Many of you, I still see in the café. There are so many people that I want to thank from my team in Assembly/Test – too many to name. I do have to give a shout out to Nasser Grayeli for giving me a push and letting me move away from TMG to IT. 

Now comes the time in IT! I know many will say, I went to the dark side, I took a vacation… Well, IT is no vacation. Dark side, maybe. I was lucky enough to get to work for Linda Pfost. She had been my manager for quite sometime in IT. Maybe all but 2 years. She definitely knew how to make a team a team. I think back to our days in Flex – with Roberto Polo, Randy Williams, Jan Weber, Joe McAvoy and others. Probably my best time at Intel! We worked hard, played hard and had each others back. My first gig within IT was in GB resourcing! I met another loyal and dedicated Intel employee in Paul Scholz.  We made a proposal that we can reduce cost and reduce the supplier base at the same time (even when the boom was going on). We were told we were stupid and did not know what we were doing. Guess what? We did exactly what we thought would work and it did! That team was a small but hard working bunch – so AU, PR, TP, TP – thanks. When the opportunity to follow Linda in another area of IT came available – I was quick to follow. She stretched me to do things in areas that I thought I would never be interested in. Got to team up with Roberto Polo again! I also got to team up with Tony Saint, which I can safely say the laughs and good times were endless. The teams I managed have had some outstanding employee’s! If I had to pick a team in the future, some of them know I would be knocking on their doors (JW, JM, SM, AR, DD, MW, JK, JM, ND, RG, SW, DM, DQ, MF, BC, JF and the list goes on).

When I made the decision to retire, which was a tough one, I wanted to leave with giving back some to Intel. Along came Elizabeth Crupe with an offer to take my management experience to the “New to Management” series. Having the opportunity to share my stories, examples and teach the new managers has been a wonderful way for me to give back. I almost grew up at Intel (I will never grow up). I truly enjoyed teaching those classes.

Lastly, I want to discuss the internal social computing team and how things have grown. Back in the day, who would have thought that this would actually be inside Intel? Many talked like they wanted it, but actions did not follow. The since left Intel, Jeff Moriarty, started a path toward of adding some social media capabilities to our internal collaboration tools, but it took Laurie Buczek to get the road paved! We all know who did what! While Laurie was out on sabbatical, Linda Pfost and I presented to Paul Otellini on the progress made and plans. That presentation went very well! From these social tools I have met some special people – Jeremy Schultz, Stace Karussos, Melanie McBride, David Wade and Greg Leff. From my blogging, I have had discussions with folks that I have never met in person – Paulette Moore, Susifina Afemui, Benjamin Buck and Joel Rubicam.  I want to give a shout out to all of the Planet Blue Ambassadors (JS, MSL, SK, JS, AA, BA, DW and others) that give of their time freely to keep this social movement moving forward. I did my small part and will miss it!

I know that there were many great loyal and dedicated Intel employees along my 28+ years. I wish I could have a roll call for many of them.  I can easily think of over 1000. Many of the names that I have mentioned I will still be in consistent contact after Intel. We have formed a bond that is much more than a solid working relationship. Everything that gets done at Intel is done through people! When teaching the “new to management” classes I stress that point. People get stuff done. In the factory we have machinery to help the people, but it is still the people.  People make coming to work fun! Never forget that.

I want everyone that I have come in contact with to know – YOU HAVE HELPED TO SHAPE THE PERSON THAT I HAVE GROWN UP TO BE!


There are many other folks that I could have mentioned in the blog post, but they have left Intel. So, I want to take this opportunity, if they are reading my stuff to give them a little shout out for helping me over the years… Jeff Moriarty, Kristen Walczewski, Brian Higgins, Steve Hudnall, Randy Williams, Pat and Cheryl Harrison! There are many folks that worked for other companies that I have come across that are still very helpful today – Jeff Hanlon, Shawn Plowman, Scott Holden, David Harradine, Gia Lyons, Evo Terra and Jeff Russell – just to name a few!

It is all about the people!

  • Great post Steve! I am going to miss working with you. Thanks for being such a great colleague and partner in getting Enterprise 2.0 established. All the best!

  • Kristen Walczewski

    Hey Steve. Great post! It was great catching up with you and Jeff when I was in AZ! Hope to continue to keep in touch!

    I never heard all of those great factory stories that were before my time 😉 including Andy Grove and Craig Barrett! I am so fortunate to have had you as my first manager. I learned so much in the short 3 years I was at Intel. From having a great manager to guide/motivate me (you), a lot of day to day assistance, outside knowledge, & fun (Jeff) and the presence of a strong female leaders I was inspired from day 1.

    Sad and exciting, at the same time, that this is your last serious Intel post. I hope you continue to blog about the new endeavors, books, and other interesting things. Heck, I have even thought I might start a blog myself sometime soon!


  • Brian Higgins


    Great stuff. It truly is all about THE PEOPLE that when I look back on make us what we are. Indicators come and go. The people that help develop us, mentored/coached us, we mentored/coached and teamed with us to get the results and key indicators are the KEY.
    THANKS for the shout out! It was and will be always a pleasure to have you part of my extended network.


  • @Laurie and Brian – Thanks a bunch! Our relationship started with working together to working together well to solid network inside and outside the working relationship. Very happy to have you both in my network.

    @Kristen – you get a very special note. As you were my last official hire at Intel! A very good hire at that! In fact, I would put you in the top 2. Recent college grad that soared. Thanks for making my job easy.