Brian Krzanich

February 19, 2014

Hi Reddit! I'm Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel. Ask me anything!

I’m Brian Krzanich, and I have been the CEO of Intel Corporation since May 2013. I'm very excited to be here chatting with you today.

Today, I’m especially looking forward to talking with engineering students. I know how tough engineering school can really be, but it’s worth it. Here at Intel, we want to help you become the best engineer you can be, and we want to make sure you graduate from your degree program. We've built this site to provide resources and motivation for engineering students. We need you, and we’ll do what we can to support you along the way.

I'll get started at about 9am PT (Noon ET)


Verification Photo


EDIT: Hi Reddit. I have to head out in about 5 minutes. Thanks for all of your questions so far.

EDIT: Time to head to a meeting. Thanks so much for all of your questions. I'll try to come back later in the day and answer a few more!

EDIT: I gave a quick response to the STAY WITH IT team before I had to leave. Engineering students, make sure you check out the STAY WITH IT resources at and join the community on Facebook.

Do you see software as a product in itself or is it still an aide to pump up hardware sales?

Edit : I work at Intel. Thanks!

I think there are a few answers to this question based on perspective or the company you are working at... clearly at the root level software is a product... there are many many companies around the world that are proof of that... but for companies like Intel that are for the most part hardware companies.. we tend to use software as a driver for hardware... and we tend to think of software as helping drive he need for hardware... Andy Grove was famous for his software, hardware spiral. where he said each drove the other..

What do you think is the best thing a student who is interested in computer and startups can do?

BTW , I love INTEL.. always wanted to have an internship there.. :) :) :D

as in the question above... i think you need to ask first the question of do you want to be in hardware or software .. if you love hardware.. you have to focus on architecture... and you can chose from many forms of architecture.. but if you love software... and you want that to be your focus area.... then you should focus on the basics of math and physics plus computer programing.. there are those rare people who are able to follow both paths and i find they are some of the most capable..

favorite kind of sandwich?

this is an easy one.. Peanut butter and Jelly.. and if you want to really make it good.. freeze it so it's cold.. and have good salty potatoe chips with it

What is pushing hardware development nowadays?

experience.. it's very clear you can make some great products... with amazing technology.. but it's about experience... and without a great user experience from the un boxing onwards.. you don't have a product.. this is where i think Intel has had to make the most change over the last few years... and we now spend a huge amount of time upfront thinking about the experiences we want a user to have before we put one transistor on the chip

What's your favorite engineering major?

i loved a class called unit ops in chemical engineering.. it was the first class where everything is practical.. you're designing plants and making factories... and the "lab" is a mathematical model of your plant

Which wearable technology do you wear?

changes.. currently i am using a couple.. one that is an internal Intel one i can't tell you about yet :-) ... the other is a wrist watch that tracks your biometrics like heart rate , pace steps... it's interesting.. i change regularly so i can understand the experience and what would make me want the device to be a part of my life..

Internal to the company or internal to your body?


I think you need to measure blood glucose level to improve life quality and stop obesity

There are a few companies working on sensors that can be worn to measure several blood parameters including Glucose, PH, Oxygen levels.. i think all of these will be available over the next few years

Where do you see the computing sector (PCs/Tablets/Smartphones/Etc) heading in the next 5 years?

There is an over all trend in computing that has been going on for 30+ years.. that computing is becoming smaller.... lighter... more portable.... and more and more connected.. think about it.. it went from main frames to desktops to laptops to tablets and phones.... it won't stop there... everyone who thinks it will stop is wrong.. it just keeps going down that curve.. driven by Moore's law...

I wonder if PR is in charge with this gig or what.

no... PR is not in charge.. with all of these spelling errors.. it has to be me :)

If you had to pick one thing - what do you believe to be the mark of a great leader? One that motivates their people?

to say a great leader simply motivates their people is true.. but too simple... sure every great leader has the ability to motivate people.. but... that alone is not enough in today's world... you have to be able to create and then articulate a vision.. motivated people with no clear direction... is not a winning team.. the vision to strategy piece is very important... and then... you have to be able to get things done.. to build a product.. or have people around you who can.. many of the greatest leaders have had just that.. the ability to motivate, create a vision, build a strategy... but then use teams to actually build the product..

What advice would you give a fifth grader who has shown an interest in science, technology, and engineering? Anything you did in middle/high school that you look back on as helping you succeed in your career?

My youngest daughter is in 6th grade.. so i think bout this question a lot in my own life.. and the answer is simple.. foster the creativity and willingness to try... that's what is key.. in my own two daughters i have tried to really foster them to try anything and t be afraid to fail.. that your ability to build or create anything is limited only only by your willingness to try and your effort.. so as a 5th grader.. become passionate about whatever it is you love.. and you'll find you grow and that overtime that which you've learned will help you later on in life...

How close is your relationship with apple? Has it changed since they made to move to Intel processors in 2005?

we've always had a very close relationship with Apple and it continues to grow closer.. sure its grown close over the years especially since we they started to use our technology in their systems.. we're always trying to build the relationship with all of our customers to be closer.. the former CEO Paul Otellini used to say.. we win when our customers win.. it's always stuck with me

What type of computer do you use?

i am currently using a Lenovo Helix.. i have been using i for a while.. i am about to switch though

Let's get straight to the point. Can you jump over chairs like Bill Gates?

you bet.. i guess i should ask... how tall of a chair first.. but pretty sure i can...

People have been talking about the death of moores law for decades, what is the plan for when that upper limit with silicon is hit?

in my 30 years i think i have seen the forecasted end of Moore's law at least 5 or 6 times... so i tend to be a skeptic when people say it will end.. At any one point we can typically see about 10 years out.. with pretty good clarity in the 3 to 5 years and much less clarity 5 to 10 years.. but so far in that 10 year horizon.. we don't see anything that says it will end in that time frame..

When you were in your early 20s, did you envision being where you are today?

no.... i knew i would love engineering.. and i loved to build things.. i think back then i thought i would end up in a lab working on leading edge technology.. not running a company.. even 5 years ago i don't think i would have guessed i would be doing this job..

As a kid growing up, I remember Intel for the memorable marketing campaigns. I haven't seen anything noteworthy from Intel in recent years. Are you doing anything to change that?

yes.. we're going to revamp our marketing.. i don't know marketing... clearly in engineering school you don't get much marketing training.. but i agree we need to get some of the innovation and coolness back in to our marketing

Hi Brian! Favorite sandwich?


How did Intel miss out on the mobile/tablet market and what is it doing now to compensate?

we wanted the world of computing to stop at PC's...and the world.. as it never does... didn't stop innovating.. The new CEO of Microsoft Satya said it well the other day... our industry does not respect tradition, it respects innovation.... i think he was 100% right.. and it's why we missed the mobile move..

Does Intel plan on entering the phone or tablet market in the future?

we're in it :-) we sold ~12 million tablets last year.. and our target is 40 million plus this year...

What is your favorite charity or favorite way to "give back"?

there are a few.. my family and i participate in "Cycle for Survival" it was started by a friend of my wife's who lost his wife to a rare form of cancer...

then we also give to several animal shelters in the area both with time nd donation

Did you always want to be a CEO? Did you come from a technical background?

nope.. thought i wanted to stick with the pure technical path.... then i realized the best way to drive technology was to run the company...

Why do you like ellipses so much?

I am trying to start a new trend :-) no actually i use them to try and set apart thoughts and separate ideas...

but secretly.. i am hoping it becomes a new trend............... :-)

How does the development of graphene change the game for Intel?

Graphine, carbon nano tubes.. an other 3-5 materials will become very important to semiconductors over the next few years... they will allow us to lower leakage and power while reducing geometries..

Hi BK- thanks so much for doing this!

What's your most unexpected or favorite perk of being CEO of a company like Intel?

totally has to be all of the great technology and gear i get to try out... i am a firm believer in "eating your own dog food"... that you have to try the technology and use it and experience to know what works..

Do you own a badass gaming PC with a crazy processor that isn't on the open market?

no.. i used to have time to do that.. i used to build my own PC's.. and actually had one of the first water cooled overclocked PC's around. i ran it at over 4Ghz and this was back in 2001... but alas i do not have the time for that fun anymore

Hi Brian, what is Intel's strategy in the Cloud and what will be the key differentiators that weed out the winners and losers in this space ?

great question... The cloud like much of data center computing is focused largely on total cost of performance. In other words they really focus on optimizing the best performance they can for the right cost. think about your search experience, your app experience.. you want the data to return as real time a you can.... so that is what we focus on and believe we are providing world class performance in

Thank you for taking the time to do this AMA.

Do you see 3D printing taking a big role in chip and board production in the future?

Is Intel investing time in making hardware more weather / water proof?

i think 3D printing will change much of the business and innovation world over the next few years.. i don't even think we've scratched the surface on how 3D printing will change the way things get made. New materials and capabilities will continue to be developed and be able to be 3D printed. and as that occurs more and more uses will be identified and whole industries will be changed..

Hi! What color socks are you wearing?


Patent Law Student here: Is your IP portfolio the most valuable asset you have?

not the most valuable.. but certainly a valuable one that we continue to invest in and develop. In today's world you have to have a strong IP portfolio

Is the . button on your keyboard stuck?

no... it's just my favorite.. :-)


ok folks... first sorry for taking so long.. it's simply a matter of my's been a long week.. so here are my replies to these questions:

First, let me be clear that Intel doesn’t participate in the NSA programs described in recent news reports. Intel does not participate in anyone’s efforts to decrease security in technology. We don’t provide methods for unauthorized access to our products….we don’t create back doors.
On the question of BSD….. BSD did not drop our RDRAND. FreeBSD will continue using RDRAND to feed the OS entropy pool, feeding its output into another PRNG in the process. Privacy is really important, it is important to me and it’s important to Intel… we’ve always been clear about our policies in this area….and we understand the concern on the part of individuals and governments and companies. We invest in training, network security, information security, code reviews and testing to minimize the risk of our product behaving in an unexpected way. Given the environment there has been a lot of speculation and misinformation about our products and I want folks to know we constantly work to improve the security of our products. That is a never ending process for us.

and you can tell this is really me.... from all of the ellipses :-)

How is Intel committing to keeping current jobs in the USA? And do you have plans to bring jobs back to the USA? I know the Intel plant in the area where I live is constantly shipping jobs overseas, or the jobs are just disappearing completely.

sorry for being slow on this one as well... so let me tell you some facts first.. we manufacture about 75% of our products here in the US... it varies from year to year based on what products are in demand... but in general.. 75% made in the US.. at the same time.. about 75% of the product is sold overseas... In addition, the two newest factories we're just completing.. are in the US... one in Portland Oregon... and the other in Phoenix Az... so we're doing all we can to keep jobs in the US and not just jobs.. but good manufacturing jobs, engineering jobs..

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Brian Krzanich conducted on Reddit on 2014-02-19. The Reddit AMA can be found here.