Barrett worked alongside Intel founders Gordon Moore and Bob Noyce and has served in a variety of roles including CEO, a position he gave up in 2005. While he's credited with helping Intel in the 1990s grow to become the company it is today, he has in recent years been active in initiatives that aim to bring technology to emerging countries.
In a recent interview, Barrett sounded content with having given up control of operations of the company in order to focus on delivering computers and education to the developing world. “I had nearly 35 years of worrying about the day-to-day problems associated with manufacturing lines and customers,” he said. “I tell [president and CEO] Paul Otellini, 'You can worry about the problems and I'll travel for you.'”
He spoke of his recent experiences in the Amazon and Tanzania and described upcoming trips to New Zealand, Europe and the Middle East.
At the recent Consumer Electronics Show, Barrett launched Small Things, an initiative that encourages people to take small steps to bring relief to the world's poorest countries.
Jane Shaw, who has been on Intel's board since 1993, will replace Barrett as non-executive chairman starting in May.