Bloomberg News

Intel Chairman Says Board Diversity Must Reflect Global Markets

October 05, 2011

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Intel Corp. Chairman Jane Shaw said the world’s largest chipmaker needs more diversity on its board to reflect its growing reliance on overseas markets.

“A big issue for Intel is getting some global diversity,” Shaw said in an interview in Kiel, Germany, where she was attending the Global Economic Symposium. “Our biggest market right now is China, and we have no global representation on the board and that is an issue they need to address.”

Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, generated more than 16 percent of its $43.6 billion revenue from China last year, while 15 percent came from the U.S., according to Bloomberg data. Personal-computer shipments in China rose 14 percent to 18.5 million units during the second quarter, the first time they surpassed the number in the U.S., where sales fell, Bryan Ma, an analyst at research firm IDC, said Aug. 23.

Shaw, 72, who has served on Intel’s board of directors since 1993, said Intel is improving diversity in recruitment, including for gender, which benefits the business.

“To me it’s more getting diversity of thought on approaches to a problem,” she said. “I think women attack a problem in a different way, and if they bring their insight to a problem to the board room I think you get a better discussion.”

Gender diversity is “now at about 50-50 at the entry level, making sure there is pay parity,” she said. Intel is “particularly looking at diversity on a broader basis,” including the creation of support and mentoring groups for members of various ethnicities.

CEO Succession

Paul Otellini, who turns 61 on Oct. 12, succeeded Craig Barrett as chief executive officer in 2005 and has three years left on his contract. Shaw, who is set to retire in May to be replaced by Chief Administrative Officer Andy Bryant, said the company traditionally appoints insiders as CEO, and such candidates tend to face a tougher test.

“The hurdle is usually higher for internal candidates because you know all the warts and pimples,” she said. “Someone comes in from outdoors and they look much fresher.”

Shaw has been head of the compensation and audit committees and was lead outside director before taking over as chairman from Barrett in 2009. Her appointment marked a move away from Intel’s tradition of awarding the job to former executive managers.

Intel shares rose 2.9 percent to $21.83 at 3:07 p.m. in New York in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The stock has climbed 3.8 percent this year, giving the company a market value of $114.6 billion.

--With assistance from Ian King in San Francisco. Editors: Robert Valpuesta, Kenneth Wong.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cornelius Rahn in Kiel, Germany, via crahn2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong in Berlin at kwong11@bloomberg.net


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