Luis Machuca is the president and CEO of Kryptiq Corporation, a healthcare connectivity company that facilitates an open collaborative network for healthcare. Prior to his time at Kryptiq, Machuca held several leadership positions in the tech industry. He joined Intel in 1981 and spent 15 years there, in a variety of management roles. In 1996, he became the EVP of the NEC Computer Services Division of PB-NEC Corp. In 1999, he joined eFusion Corp. as president and COO and subsequently merged the company with ITXC. He received his BS in electrical engineering in 1980 and his MS in industrial engineering in 1981 from Purdue University.
SM: Luis, to get started please tell us about your background. Where do you come from?
LM: I was born in Puerto Rico and lived there through high school. I then went to Purdue University. Since Puerto Rico is part of the United States, it was an easy transition logistically, but it was more difficult to do culturally.English was my second language, and I had never really been outside of Puerto Rico.
SM: What was the value system and the environment that you were raised in?
LM: The temperature and culture were very warm! It was very family-oriented. We took care of each other and looked out for each other. At the same time, it was a bit of a limbo existence. Puerto Rico is part of the United States but not fully integrated into it. We had a bit of a sense of second-class citizenship. Both in Puerto Rico and beyond, there have been a lot of very helpful people along my path. Overall, it has been a great environment.
SM: When did you come to Purdue for college?
LM: That was in 1976. I finished my undergraduate in electrical engineering in 1980. At the time, computers were bursting onto the scene. Just as I was finishing my degree I had the chance to do a masters in industrial engineering, which would combine my technology preparation with management and business skills. It followed the MBA program at Purdue closely, although I was not labeled as an MBA back then. I was enthralled with the business of technology more than technology itself. My graduate degree was sponsored by NASA. They provided me a grant to get it free of charge.
SM: What did you do after you earned your masters?
LM: In 1981, Intel was not well-known outside of California, but it was extremely well-known at Purdue. A lot of the early Intel people came from Purdue. I was fortunate to be recruited by Intel to start my professional career there. My thought at the time was that I would go to California and be with this company called Intel for a few years, and then hop across the street and get on a big technology treadmill.
I ended up staying at Intel for 15 years. It was a phenomenal environment. It was a great study on hard work, hard intellect, great innovation, and great ideas. In the early ’80s, Intel was not the company it is today. It was very much on the balance. For two to three years, IBM bailed Intel out by buying stock and pumping cash into the company. I was at Intel during a great inflection point that could have gone either direction. I was there when the bet was made on the PC industry versus memory. That was obviously a phenomenally good call.
SM: What kinds of roles did you have at Intel during those 15 years?
LM: I was everywhere. I got into an operations management role in the Systems Group. As things developed, I moved more and more into business roles. My last big role was running the OEM Group. I worked with all of Intel’s OEMs such as IBM, HP, Gateway, Compaq, NEC, and Packard Bell, trying to get them to adopt Intel technology faster and with higher levels of integration. I was in the front seat of Intel’s and Microsoft’s restructuring the technology ecosystem in a massive way.