A former "prissy girl" takes on tech

February 2, 2011: 3:38 PM ET

Intel's CIO talks about the challenges of supporting the "consumerized"  workplace and why everyone loves tablets -- but what they really need are laptops.

Diane Bryant, CIO of Intel

Bryant, the accidental engineer: "I had no clue what I was getting into."

Diane Bryant never intended to go to college, let alone become a top executive at Intel, the world's largest chipmaker. She joined the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company back in 1985 and has held several positions over the years, including silicon design engineer and general manager of the server platforms group. About three years ago, she became Intel's (INTC) chief information officer. I recently caught up with Bryant to discuss the shifting role of the CIO and the top trends and challenges in information technology. Here is an excerpt from our conversation.

How did you get into IT?

I was the prissy girl growing up -- I won best dressed in high school. My parents didn't go to college so there wasn't any expectation for my sister and I to go either. But I was a good student and all of my friends were going on to college. We didn't have any money and the rule was when you're 18 you're on your own. More

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