At the company that launched a million chips, Fairchild Semiconductor CIO and Senior Vice President John M. Watkins Jr. has two major challenges: serving the IT needs of 10,000 employees worldwide and keeping the company ahead of the competition.
To those dual ends, Watkins led the creation in 2003 of an e-business platform that integrates and standardizes processes in manufacturing, engineering, and administration. The system provides information to more than 50,000 customers, channel partners, and suppliers about Fairchild Semiconductor's 20,000-plus products while giving managers real-time performance metrics. “My job is to keep the company at the leading edge,” Watkins says. “It’s not for me to beat up the CEO for more money; it’s for me to make him understand what he’ll miss if we don’t invest.”