Maxine Fassberg has spent most of her professional life at Intel. She arrived at the Jerusalem plant in 1983 when the company was looking for development experts for the new site.
Until then, Fassberg had been a teacher at a Jerusalem high school, but when she tried to become principal and was rejected she moved on. And on.
Even though she describes her performance in her first Intel management position - a team leader - as "the worst in the company," her bosses noticed her potential and nurtured it. In 2000 she was appointed co-director of Intel's central site at Kiryat Gat (together with Alex Kornhauser ) and in 2004 became vice president of Intel's technology and manufacturing group worldwide. In 2007 she was appointed CEO of Intel Israel, the only woman in Israeli high-tech with so impressive a position.
Fassberg is considered a particularly good manager and has a direct influence on employment levels, particularly in the south of the country. Under her management, Intel Israel's exports grew from $1.54 billion in 2007 to $2.7 billion in 2010.
She was a leader in upgrading the Kiryat Gat chipmaking plant to the most advanced technology in the world - the production of microprocessors with 22-nanometer technology - at a cost of $2.7 billion, in return for a grant of $200 million from the Israeli government. Today Fassberg manages 7,300 employees and Intel has announced that in 2011 it is expected take on another 1,000 new workers.
Intel is once again in the headlines: The Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry has informed Fassberg that it will grant Intel NIS 1 billion if it decides to set up another plant in the north, for example in Beit She'an.
Fassberg faces a difficult task - to convince the heads of the company in the United States that this is the right step so they won't set up the plant in another country. "If she succeeds, she'll deserve the Israel Prize," a source close to Fassberg says.
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