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Brian Krzanich on Intel’s Changes: ‘We’re Adapting’

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is interviewed Tuesday, July 12, 2016, by Fortune assistant managing editor Adam Lashinsky as part of Fortune Brainstorm Tech 2016, the publisher’s annual technology and ideas summit.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is interviewed Tuesday, July 12, 2016, by Fortune assistant managing editor Adam Lashinsky as part of Fortune Brainstorm Tech 2016, the publisher’s annual technology and ideas summit.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich spoke Tuesday morning of the challenges of guiding the world’s largest semiconductor company through its next generation of transformational change.

He summed up Intel’s progress in two words: “We’re adapting.”

Krzanich was interviewed by Fortune assistant managing editor Adam Lashinsky as part of Fortune Brainstorm Tech 2016, the publisher’s annual technology and ideas summit. (Watch: “This is Intel’s Future In Tech”)

The challenges of leading Intel dominated the 25-minute presentation. Krzanich spoke of the goals of growing Intel’s data center and Internet of Things businesses; Intel’s role in providing high-speed computing power for autonomous cars; and the company’s return to the memory business.

Krzanich focused much of the conversation on the explosion of devices and the data they each will create. He said that by 2020, the Internet of Things will include 50 billion devices. Each user of those devices will generate 1.5 gigabytes of data every day. The average autonomous car will create about 40 gigabytes of data each minute.

All that data is going to find its way to data centers. From the creation end of the data in the billions of devices to the data-crunching end, Intel has a role, Krzanich said.

“As the cloud becomes dominated by machines … that’s where the Internet of Things takes off, that’s where machine learning will then take all that data – your driving data, the drone data, your sports data – and start to learn from it. And that’s why all of this is so important. That’s why memory, the things and the data center are all connected.”

The wide-ranging interview touched on Intel’s future in mobile, its role in securing all that data and the company’s goal to better mirror society. He referred to Intel as a “great American manufacturing company. … Still between 50 and 70 percent of our product is manufactured in the U.S.”

Krzanich also spoke reverently of Andy Grove, Intel’s former leader who died this year. Krzanich said Grove was fond of saying people have to “adapt or die.”

The Fortune interview was the subject of media reports immediately after it ended Tuesday morning. Here are some excerpts:

“Intel CEO says cars are the new smartphone” (CNET): “The speech underscored how connected cars, which include self-driving vehicles that use data to drive themselves, represent the next frontier of the mobile business. The cars require a mammoth amount of data in order to participate in the Internet of Things, or the concept that everything around us is online and talking to each other.”

“Intel CEO Brian Krzanich explains the worst part of being CEO” (Yahoo Finance): “He doesn’t love a lot of his current job, most of the ‘to-do list” stuff he does every day, he said. But he especially dislikes the dress code. ‘Being CEO is different. I have to dress nicer. I don’t get to come to work in shorts. I have to go to board meetings.’ … His two favorite parts of the job are the fact that Intel still makes stuff, and manufacturers most of it in the U.S., and solving really hard engineering manufacturing problems, like building impossibly small 5-nanometer chips.”