WHEN Dr Craig Barrett, 58, Intels new president and chief operating off icer, says it is "frightening" to step into the shoes of three legends in the semiconductor industry his predecessors Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore and Andy Grove he may be just humouring interviewers by the achievements of the troika. Though known more as the behind-the-scenes manufacturing man responsible for Intels gigantic strides in pushing microchip technology, Barrett seems to have got a hang of selling technology just the way Grove did. A couple of weeks ago, in a meeting with Chinese president Jiang Zemin in Beijing, Barrett so impressed Jiang with the possibilities offered by video conferencing that the president decided to install a personal facility at home and another in Shanghai to communicate with his grand children there.
"Those are the sort of things government leaders have to do to set the example for the rest of the country. It is in the best interests of everybody here," Barrett says as he jets from Chennai to Bangalore to Delhi on a two-day sojourn in India last week. The objective of his second trip in a year: to get a feel of the overall market and make sure Intel relationships are functioning smoothly. Barretts philosophy is simple: find new uses for computers and new users for computers. Says he: "In this is a very simple motivating factor for us. It brings us business."