A (computer) chip off the old block

Paul Otellini, president and CEO of Intel, tells President Shimon Peres he's proud of what Israeli brainpower achieved.

November 2, 2012 03:30
1 minute read.
Shimon Peres with Intel CEO Paul Otellini.

Shimon Peres with Intel CEO Paul Otellini 390. (photo credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO)

Aware of President Shimon Peres’s penchant for science and technology, all the hi-tech gurus who come to Israel beat a path to his door and are welcomed with open arms.

Thus when Paul Otellini, president and CEO of Intel and a member of US President Barack Obama’s Task Force for speeding up jobs and competitiveness, came to Israel this week, it was in the cards that he would meet with Peres.

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More than that, Otellini, when he visited the president’s office on Thursday, brought with him what is believed to be the most advanced microchip in the world. The latest Intel chip is the product of Israeli research and development.

Otellini told Peres that the establishment in 1974 of Intel’s first R&D plant in Haifa had been an important strategic choice not only for Intel but for the State of Israel. Since then, other Intel plants have been established in the center of the country and in Kiryat Gat, with a total of 8,500 of the best brains in the country.

“We’re very proud of them,” Otellini said.

Peres suggested to the Intel CEO that if he was so proud of what Israeli brainpower had achieved for Intel, perhaps it was a good idea for the global company to set up its next R&D plant in Israel as well. No country is more suitable, Peres insisted, citing Israel’s worldwide reputation for its hi-tech achievements.

Otellini acknowledged that, while Intel’s Israeli facilities were among the company’s most outstanding in the world, and cooperation with the State of Israel is of great importance to Intel, he made no promises with regard to establishing another Intel plant in Israel.

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