Partnering, by Saxby.

Sir Robin Saxby, founding CEO of ARM, invented ARM’s partnering business model. Here’s how it worked on one occasion.

“When DEC was sold to Intel, the boss of DEC said: ‘I need your help. I want to assign our licence to Intel’,” recalls Saxby.

In 1997 Intel took over part of the minicomputer company DEC which was, at the time, an ARM architectural licensee and had worked on developing ARM-based products.

“DEC’s staff were leaving and I could easily have picked them up,” recalls Saxby, ” but the boss of DEC had said to me: ‘I want to work with Intel’.”

“I could have picked up those people but I thought: ‘This is going against what my partner has asked me to do’, ” recounts Saxby.

“With hindsight I’m glad I did that though, short term, I could have had a financial benefit and, perhaps, all sorts of benefits,” says Saxby.

He feels the British don’t naturally accept the concept of partnering in business.

“The attitude in Britain is that we can win against the world,” says Saxby, “but the idea that you’re winning a battle is wrong. We’re in a world trading forum – not a football match. Electronics is an interdependent business”.

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