At least life at the top hasn't been dull for Barrett, the 25-year Intel veteran who stepped into the CEO slot at the beginning of 1998. Since then, the company has been blindsided by the sudden rise of the market for sub-$1,000 PCs, had its dirty laundry aired at the Microsoft antitrust trial, and settled a patent-infringement complaint by the U.S. Justice Department even as the feds continue to probe other Intel business practices. Worst of all, two Intel employees were murdered under horrifying circumstances in Uganda in early March. Throughout this trying time, Barrett has maintained his focus on Intel's manufacturing operations. For good reason: As microchips find their way into ever more non-PC devices, they will have to become even smaller and more versatile. "You need a guy like Barrett to manage that transition," says Cowen & Co. analyst Drew Peck.
Business Philosophy: Look ahead rather than back. Set high expectations, and meet deadlines.
Headache: Competitors such as Advanced Micro Devices, which was much quicker than Intel to spot the growth potential of sub-$1,000 PCs.
True story: In 1986, when Japan ruled the semiconductor market, Barrett learned everything he could about Japanese manufacturing practices. He applied what he learned at Intel's chip-fabrication plants. Today, the Japanese emulate Intel.
Management Style: A plant-floor guy. Before he was named CEO, he personally inspected each of Intel's dozens of fabrication plants around the world. Former CEO Andy Grove joked that Barrett had collected enough frequent-flier miles to buy his own airline.