UK: Brain food - Speaking out Craig Barrett, President, Intel Corporation.

UK: Brain food - Speaking out Craig Barrett, President, Intel Corporation. - If you want to know about computers, ask a young nerd. What can a 59 year old grey fox tell you? Well, quite a lot actually if his name is Craig Barrett, president of the Intel

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

If you want to know about computers, ask a young nerd. What can a 59 year old grey fox tell you? Well, quite a lot actually if his name is Craig Barrett, president of the Intel Corporation, who held his audience enthralled at the Wall Street Journal's sixth annual CEO's summit in London with his account of where the internet was headed.

After a slightly shaky start, I thought we were in for the usual chief executive guff - high on platitudes, low on facts and new information. But he surprised us, progressing well and assuredly hammering home his basic message that if you are not in e-commerce in five years' time you probably won't be in business.

This bold headline was backed up with impressive figures. Other messages pressed home included the belief that we must lobby government to ensure that we have enough bandwidth to support the explosion in internet traffic.

Did he get anything wrong? Well I could have done with simpler, less busy graphics but the demonstrations of the innovations in computer processing power were efficiently conducted and clearly well rehearsed without being overly slick.

In the field of high-tech, there is a feeling that you are very much over the hill by 30. But the Intel president is living proof that it ain't necessarily so. You just need a user-friendly interface which helps ordinary mortals understand what on earth is going on in the world of computers.

Key moment: The revelation that Intel Corporation took its first order on the internet just one year ago and is now doing a billion dollars' worth of internet business a month.

Key lesson: Be yourself. Barrett's style was relaxed, straightforward and unpretentious.

Silver tongue or foot in mouth?

Khalid Aziz, chairman, Aziz Corp, e-mail: khalida@azizcorp.com.

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