Intel initiated a company-wide restructuring plan in 2006 to bolster its flagging product leadership position and improve its efficiency and effectiveness. Stacy Smith, then the assistant CFO, led the effort, which has resulted in compound annual revenue and earnings growth of 9% and 23%, respectively. The initiative trimmed Intel's employee headcount, reduced its layers of management and produced $7 billion in annual productivity gains. Smith, who was named CFO in 2007, notes the company was fortunate to begin the initiative before the financial crisis. He discusses how the crisis has impacted Intel and the issues facing finance departments.

T&R: What safeguards against future financial crisis has Intel adopted?

Smith: Intel had a relatively conservative profile with our excess cash even prior to the financial crisis, so our portfolio was not significantly impacted. Since the crisis we have tightened our credit policies somewhat, especially with banks. We continue to lend to European sovereigns and banks, but only ones of the highest credit quality. We've also invested a small portion of our portfolio in U.S. [Treasury] bills to provide the ultimate liquidity in case of a future crisis.

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