So much for guts

Big-time tech CEOs are reluctant to speak up on offshore outsourcing. Why?

Kudos to Craig Barrett of Intel for taking part in the op-ed roundtable. Unfortunately, he was the only big-time tech CEO with the guts to go on the record. (I'm sure T.J. Rodgers of Cypress Semi would have agreed, but I didn't ask.) Once the PR handlers heard about the topic, they ran for the hills. Truth be told, some of the explanations got quite creative. Without mentioning names, suffice it to say that they wanted no part of anything that even remotely smacked of controversy.

Why not?

Seems to me that sticking your head in the ground and pretending the controversy will blow past misses the point. We're too far along to ignore offshore outsourcing and to dismiss it as transitory phase of postindustrial capitalism. It's here, and it's not going away. The question now becomes, what should be done about it? Already there are voices out of Washington--some reasonable, some not. All the more reason for Silicon Valley to put its best ideas forward. The tech aristocracy may not want to dirty their hands with the muck of what may be a messy debate. But if they abdicate that responsibility, others are going to decide the issue for them.

Tech Culture
About the author

Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.


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