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Seagate CEO looks aheadBill Watkins, CEO of hard-drive maker Seagate Technology, sits down with CNET News.com's Michael Kanellos to discuss the future of the drive industry, the current economy, and some of the changes he'd like to see coming with the 2008 election.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:03 >> Hi, this is Michael Kanellos [phonetic] with www.news.com. >> And today we're talking to Bill Watkins, CEO of Seagate, the world's largest disk driver maker. Whether it's from an Internet site to your hand, to your home, to your car, how you want to enjoy the PC. It's all being driven by storage, and there is storage in all sides... >> [Inaudible]. >> Of that ecosystem [assumed spelling]. So that overall trend of more and more content [inaudible] just drives the need for storage. How much [inaudible] when you look at your company and maybe the industry as a whole, how much is now tied to the PC versus consumer electronic, security cameras? >> You know, more then half of my drives ship without a PC board. >> Really? >> That don't have nothing to do with a notebook... >> [Inaudible]. >> Or desktop. [Inaudible]. >> [Inaudible], that's different then five years ago. >> Oh, yeah, no, but, but, half [inaudible] products [assumed spelling] right now is not even attached. It's going into a DVR. It's going over to an Internet company that's doing Internet storage. It's going into a surveillance camera, it's going into a gaming box, or etcetera, etcetera. So again, it's, storage is getting very ubiquitous. And it's in a lot of different devices besides, if you will, the sort of historical desktop notebook. We've book looking at solid-state storage for a long, long time. And again we think that it's going to have an application. We're obviously working on our own solid-state storage. Right now the markets very, very small, and it's not, it's not, it's not [inaudible] yet, it's not ready yet. But it, eventually we think [inaudible] going to see solid-state [inaudible]. But Seagate [inaudible] be there. I mean it's a component, it's a chip, it's no different then a head or disk. And when you combine it, what you really need though, you need all this software, you need the firmware, you need to put together error [assumed spelling] correction and all of these sorts of things that Seagate does very well. >> A lot of companies looking at a downturn right now. How [inaudible] managing that? I mean how do you keep employees happy. How do you keep them from panicking? How do you keep the bottom line good? >> Well, again I think, you know, no one's ever called it the easy [inaudible], there's this... >> [Inaudible]. >> And so, and so, so we've kind of, we've kind of, we're kind of used to this. But again, as far as working with employees, I mean, just being open and honest and transparent. And again, we actually believe the opportunity sets very well. >> We've got an election year coming up here, who are you rooting for? >> Well, you know, as most people know, I'm pretty much a bleeding heart liberal. So... >> [Inaudible]. >> I'm obviously, you know, who ever the Democrats put out there, I'm probably going to support. This country's lost it's ability to have a [inaudible]. >> [Inaudible]. >> I mean, I want, I mean, I don't know how to solve healthcare. But I do know this, I'm going to be very ashamed that I die, and I leave this country as a leader and not every child has healthcare. Every child has a right to a lawyer, but we don't have a right to child healthcare. >> Are you seeing the Silicon Valley success being replicated over seas? I mean a lot of countries have tried. Singapore has put together... >> [Inaudible]. >> Programs. Ireland has, China's trying to do. Are they getting close? I mean it's... >> [Inaudible]. I think they're making progress. >> Okay. >> I mean, I think we way underestimate the ability of other countries to do our, what we're doing here well. And again when we start shipping the PhD's over there, I mean I'm starting to go [inaudible] Far East. I got my first design center in the Far East now. I'm seeing more and more fundamental design being done there. And again, they're getting very well educated [inaudible]. >> Excellent. Well, thank you very much. >> Thank you, Michael. ^M00:02:57 [ Music ]