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Otellini on the OLPC/Intel break-up

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Paul Otellini, president and CEO of Intel, has broken his silence over the Intel/One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) fallout in a personal blog to Intel's 88 000 employees.

Here's Otellini's blog entry:
Some clarity on OLPC…
You've no doubt seen Will Swope's article on Circuit and the media reports that followed our resignation from the One Laptop per Child organization. While I knew that this difficult decision would result in negative stories and allegations in the media, I was committed to have Intel stay on the high road. We have not made any negative comments about the program, the product, or the facts around the breakup. However, the OLPC management has made a number of very disparaging comments about Intel and has significantly misrepresented the facts. This has led to confusion in the reading population and, in many cases, to an inappropriately negative view of Intel. When one of our customers wrote to me, expressing some significant concerns, I felt compelled to respond directly. After I did this, I realized that you, our employees, may have similar concerns. So I have decided to share my thoughts in the letter with you. Here's the essence of it:
“As you might imagine, there are two sides to this story.
"Permit me to give you some background. Intel, like many corporations, has a large philanthropic effort. I believe that we are unique though in that 100% of our philanthropy goes to education efforts around the world. This has been true since the company’s founding 40 years ago. In the last 10 years alone, we have donated $1B to education. We have established computer clubhouses for kids in disadvantaged areas, we have trained (for free) over 4 million teachers wo rldwide (and will have trained 10 million by the end of 2011) on how to teach better through technology and internet-based learning. We hold two major math and science contests every year, one in the USA and one internationally. They are the premier math and science contests for high school children in the world. We spend $10M every year to fund these events and the scholarships they award. We also have an 'ultra low cost notebook' called the Classmate whose design we make available to local OEM’s to sell to school districts around the world. What is unique about this notebook is that it is part of a comprehensive approach to teaching, including a significant amount of customized software for the teachers and students.
"I give you this information to help you in the context of the OLPC saga. Some people at Intel criticized Nicholas’s project when it was first started. That was a mistake, and we have long ago apologized for that. Last summer, I contacted Nicholas and asked him a question. It was 'is your goal to get every kid a laptop, or to get every kid an OLPC laptop?' He laughed and said 'the former, of course.' With that answer, I said we would like to work together.
"Intel signed a contract with OLPC. We provided the organization with $6M of funding in 2007, and were their largest single source of funding. We were working on porting our software to the XO, and were working on an Intel-based version of the product. Last fall, Nicholas demanded that we drop our work on Classmate (this fact was reported with a quote by Nicholas in the Wall Street Journal). He felt that our work was causing less success to OLPC as a competitor. I reminded him of his answer to my question when we talked in the summer. He disregarded it and said that he had changed his mind. Intel could not and would not withdraw our support to governments and the small computer manufacturers in developing countries who were building Classmate. Nor would I bow to his pressure to grant OLPC a 'monopoly' on kids. At the time of our breakup, Intel had honored every contractual commitment we had made to the OLPC organization.
"Despite the fact that Nicholas and his team have been all over the press telling their side of the story, we have elected to take the high ground and not lower ourselves to refuting his lies. Many of the press are now seeing both sides of the story and reporting accurately. I reference you to last week's Economist article on this topic.
"I want you to know that our reputation and our integrity mean more to me than any profit motive. I hope my explanation helps you put things in context.
"To our employees I would add: you can know that we did everything we could to make this work, and that we will continue to invest on a world-class scale to enhance education and improve lives around the world. As you read and hear more (because likely you will), I would ask you to remember the facts of the situation and help us stay on the high road inside and outside of Intel."
Paul