Chief Executive Officer
Advanced Micro Devices
Sunnyvale, California

Over the past few years, we’ve talked about technology as if it were a stand-alone product — something that either does or doesn’t “sell well.” But it is really an enabler for great products that make life better for all of us, including cars, computers, PDAs, and phones. Because technology enables these things, any broad recovery will be felt immediately in the technology arena. Tech is the sweetener in the lemonade, you might say. That said, I don’t see any significant signs of a recovery in the next quarter or two.

When recovery does come, communications will be the technology category to watch. The demand for connectivity is there, and the communications revolution is just beginning. Whether you are in the office, at home, or in the car, you want to connect intelligently to the relevant things in your life. There are 6 billion people in the world, and only a small percentage are broadband connected right now. That’s a tremendous opportunity.

This slowdown has given companies the opportunity to innovate. We already know that technology is capable of doing things beyond anything we ever imagined. But let me underline this: The engine of real economic growth is not technology but innovation. And only the companies that are customer-centric in their innovation will succeed.

Hector de J. Ruiz was named CEO of Advanced Micro Devices in April 2002, succeeding the company’s founding CEO, W.J. Sanders III. Previously, he was AMD’s president and COO. Ruiz came to AMD from Motorola, where he spent 22 years as an engineer and executive in various positions both in the United States and overseas.