Andrew Grove

Andrew Grove
Andrew Grove

Grove (left, together with Klaus Schwab), 1997
Born Andras ("Andris") Grof[1]
September 2, 1936 (1936-09-02) (age 75)
Budapest, Hungary
Ethnicity Jewish
Education City College of New York, B.S. chemical engineering, 1960
University of California, Berkeley Ph.D., 1963
Occupation Former COO, Chairman and CEO, currently senior advisor
Intel Corporation
Known for co-founder of Intel Corporation, 1968
Notable works College textbook, Physics and Technology of Semiconductor Devices (1971)
Management book, Only the Paranoid Survive, (1999)

Time Man of the Year, 1997

CEO of the Year, CEO magazine, 1997

Andrew ("Andy") Stephen Grove (born 2 Sept 1936), is a Hungarian-born Jewish-American Businessman/ Engineer, Author & a science pioneer in the semiconductor industry. He escaped from Communist-controlled Hungary at the age of 20 and moved to the U.S., where he finished his education. He later became CEO of Intel and was a pioneering figure in transforming the company into a giant.

In 1968, along with colleagues Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, Grove co-founded Intel Corporation after the three left Fairchild Semiconductor. He became the start-up company's chief operating officer (COO), where he directed all management functions, and in 1987 became its chief executive officer (CEO). During his tenure as CEO, Grove oversaw an increase in Intel's stock value by 2,400%, making it one of the world's most valuable companies.[2] With Grove managing development and promotion of Intel's microprocessors, they would, in the 1980s, be used to power all IBM PCs as well as those of IBM's competitors.

As a result of his work at Intel, and from his books and professional articles, Grove had a considerable influence on the management of modern electronics manufacturing industries worldwide. He has been called the "guy who drove the growth phase" of Silicon Valley.[3] One source notes that by his accomplishments at Intel alone, he "merits a place alongside the great business leaders of the 20th century."[2] He has received numerous industry awards, including the IEEE Engineering Leadership Recognition award (1987), and the AeA Medal of Achievement award (1993). In 1997, CEO magazine chose him as its "CEO of the Year," and Time magazine made him "Man of the Year."


Early life and education

Grove was born Andras Istvan Grof, to a middle-class Jewish family in Budapest, Hungary. Growing up, he was known to friends as "Andris". At the age of four he contracted scarlet fever, which was nearly fatal and caused partial hearing loss.[2] When he was eight, the Nazis occupied Hungary and deported nearly 500,000 Jews to concentration camps. He and his mother took on false identities and were sheltered by friends.[2] His father was taken to an Eastern Labor Camp to do forced labor, but was reunited with his family after the war. During the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, when he was 20, he left his home and family and escaped across the border into Austria, where he eventually made his way to the United States in 1957. There, he changed his name to Andrew S. Grove.[1]

Grove summarizes his first twenty years of life in Hungary in his memoirs:

By the time I was twenty, I had lived through a Hungarian Fascist dictatorship, German military occupation, the Nazis' "Final Solution," the siege of Budapest by the Soviet Red Army, a period of chaotic democracy in the years immediately after the war, a variety of repressive Communist regimes, and a popular uprising that was put down at gunpoint. . . [where] many young people were killed; countless others were interned. Some two hundred thousand Hungarians escaped to the West. I was one of them.[1]

Arriving in the United States in 1957, with little money, Grove retained a "passion for learning."[4] He earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the City College of New York in 1960, and earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1963.

Soon after arriving in New York in 1957, he met his future wife, Eva, who was a fellow refugee. They met while he held a job as a busboy and she was a waitress. They married in June 1958 and have remained married ever since, having two daughters.[5]


Helping start up Intel

After graduating college in 1963, Grove worked at Fairchild Semiconductor as a researcher, and by 1967 had become its assistant director of development.[6] His work there made him familiar with the early development of integrated circuits, which would lead to the "microcomputer revolution" in the 1970s. In 1971, he wrote a college textbook on the subject, Physics and Technology of Semiconductor Devices.[7]

In 1968 he joined Fairchild colleagues Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore to co-found Intel Corporation, becoming its third employee. Fellow Hungarian émigré Leslie L. Vadász was Intel's fourth employee.[3] Grove worked initially as the company's director of engineering, and helped get its early manufacturing operations started. In 1983 he wrote a book, High Output Management, in which he described many of his methods and manufacturing concepts.[4]

Initially, Intel primarily manufactured dynamic memory chips, DRAMs. By 1976, with less demand for their memory, production problems, and the challenges created by Japanese "dumping" of memory chips at below cost prices, Grove was forced to make radical changes. As a result, he chose to discontinue producing DRAMs and focus instead on manufacturing microprocessors. Grove played a key role in negotiating with IBM to use only Intel microprocessors in all their new personal computers.

Over the 30 years since its founding, the company's revenue increased from $2,672 in its first year, to $20.8 billion in 1997. Grove was Intel's president in 1979, its CEO in 1987, and its Chairman and CEO in 1997. He relinquished his CEO title in May 1998, having been diagnosed with prostate cancer a few years earlier, and remained chairman of the board until November 2004. Grove continues his work at Intel as a senior advisor and has been a lecturer at Stanford University. He reflects back on Intel's growth during the years:

In various bits and pieces, we have steered Intel from a start-up to one of the central companies of the information economy.[4]

Grove is credited with having transformed Intel from a manufacturer of memory chips into one of the world's dominant producers of microprocessors. During his tenure as CEO, Grove oversaw a 4,500% increase in Intel's market capitalization from $4 billion to $197 billion, making it the world's 7th largest company, with 64,000 employees. Most of the company's revenues were reinvested in research and development, along with building new facilities, in order to produce improved and faster microprocessors.[4]

Management methods and style

As director of operations, manufacturing became Grove's primary focus and his management style relied heavily on his management concepts. As the company expanded and he was appointed chairman, he became more involved in strategic decision-making, including establishing markets for new products, coordinating manufacturing processes, and developing new partnerships with smaller companies. He helped create the Intel Architecture Laboratory (IAL) in Oregon to ensure that software was developed in time to take advantage of their new microprocessors. Grove states that "you are making decisions about what the information technology world will want five years into the future. . .""[4]

Grove created a culture within Intel that allowed innovation to flourish. As CEO, he wanted his managers to always encourage experimentation and prepare for changes, making a case for the value of paranoia in business. He became known for his guiding motto: "Only the paranoid survive," and wrote a management book with the same title.[8] According to Grove, "Business success contains the seeds of its own destruction,"[4] explaining that "Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive."[8] As a result, he urges senior executives to allow people to test new techniques, new products, new sales channels, and new customers, to be ready for unexpected shifts in business or technology.[4] Biographer Jeremy Byman observes that Grove "was the one person at Intel who refused to let the company rest on its laurels."[9] Grove explains his reasoning:

A corporation is a living organism; it has to continue to shed its skin. Methods have to change. Focus has to change. Values have to change. The sum total of those changes is transformation.[10]

Intel Senior Vice President Ron Whittier notes that Grove preferred to keep open channels of communication between employees, and encouraged people to speak their minds: "People here aren't afraid to speak up and debate with Andy."[4] They termed this style "constructive confrontation."[5] According to Grove's successor at Intel, Craig Barrett, "It's give and take, and anyone in the company can yell at him. He's not above it." Grove insisted that people be demanding on one another, which fostered an atmosphere of "ruthless intelligence."[5]

Grove's office was an 8-ft by 9-ft cubicle like the other employees, as he disliked separate "mahogany-paneled corner offices." He states, "I've been living in cubicles since 1978 — and it hasn't hurt a whole lot."[4] Preferring this egalitarian atmosphere, he thereby made his work area accessible to anyone who walked by. There were no reserved parking spaces, and Grove parked wherever there was a space.[5] This atmosphere at work was partly a reflection of his personal life. Some who have known him, such as venture capitalist Arthur Rock, have stated that "he has no airs." Grove has lived modestly without expensive cars or an airplane.[5]

Grove was noted for making sure that important details were never missed, with one of his favorite sayings being, "The devil is in the details." Intel Vice President Dennis Carter states that "Andy is very disciplined, precise, and detail oriented. . . But at the same time, he has an element of intuition and creativity that is fundamental to Intel's innovation."[4] According to Industry Week magazine, Grove feared that the "brilliance that sparked the creation of Intel" during its early years, "might come to nothing if somebody didn't pay attention to details." Carter recalls that Grove would even correct his spelling errors:

When he came to this country from Hungary in 1956, he didn't speak English. Yet I learned spelling from him. Not only does he have the instincts of a teacher, but he also has a great deal of patience.[4]

Other accomplishments

Grove is also a noted author and scientist. His first book on semiconductors, Physics and Technology of Semiconductor Devices (1971),[7] has been used by leading universities. Another book on business operation methods, High Output Management (1983), has been translated into 11 languages. He has also written over 40 technical papers and holds several patents on semiconductor devices.[11]

Grove received honorary degrees from the City College of New York (1985), Worcester Polytechnic Institute (1989), and Harvard University (2000). He has also taught graduate computer physics courses at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. In 2004 the Wharton School of Business recognized him as the "Most Influential Business Person of the Last 25 Years."[11]

In an interview in Esquire magazine in 2000, Grove encouraged America to be "vigilant as a nation to have tolerance for difference, a tolerance for new people." He pointed out that immigration and immigrants are what made America what it is.[10]

Honors and awards

  • The 1st Annual Heinz Award in Technology, the Economy and Employment.[12] Grove received the award in 1995, and he was honored by the foundation for representing a story "as old as America: the story of a young immigrant rising to great success." The donors of the award added that Grove "has played perhaps the single most pivotal role in the development and popularization of the twentieth century's most remarkable innovation - the personal computer."[11]

Books written by Andrew Grove

  • A. S. Grove (1967). Physics and Technology of Semiconductor Devices. Wiley. ISBN 0471329983. 
  • A. S. Grove (1988). One on One With Andy Grove. Penguin Putnam. ISBN 0140109358. 
  • A. S. Grove (1995). High Output Management. Random House. ISBN 0679762884.  (originally published in 1983)
  • A. S. Grove (1996). Only the Paranoid Survive. Doubleday. ISBN 0385482582. 
  • A. S. Grove (2001). Swimming Across: A Memoir. ISBN 0446679704. 
  • Robert Burgelman and A. S. Grove (2001). Strategy Is Destiny: How Strategy-Making Shapes a Company's Future. ISBN 0684855542. 
  • Robert A. Burgelman, Andrew S. Grove and Philip E. Meza (2005). Strategic Dynamics: Concepts and Cases. McGraw-Hill/Irwin. ISBN 0073122653. 


  • "City College is the American Dream Machine."[19]
  • "When TV first came, people tried to look at it as a radio with pictures. We're at the stage now where the Internet is TV with poor connections."
  • "A fundamental rule in technology says that whatever can be done will be done."
  • "Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive."
  • "Just as you would not permit a fellow employee to steal a piece of office equipment, you shouldn't let anyone walk away with the time of his fellow managers."
  • "Stressing output is the key to improving productivity, while looking to increase activity can result in just the opposite."
  • "You have to pretend you're 100 percent sure. You have to take action; you can't hesitate or hedge your bets. Anything less will condemn your efforts to failure."
  • "Technology happens, it's not good, it's not bad. Is steel good or bad?"[15]
  • "People can't memorize computer industry acronyms"
  • "Your career is your business, and you are its CEO"


  1. ^ a b c Grove, Andrew S. Swimming Across: a Memoir, Hachette Book Group (2001) Prologue
  2. ^ a b c d Movers and Shakers: the 100 Most Influential Figures in Modern Business, Basic Books (2003) pp. 205-207
  3. ^ a b Gaither, Chris (2001-11-12). "Andy Grove's Tale of His Boyhood in Wartime". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l IndustryWeek : 1997 Technology Leader of the Year
    Andy Grove: Building An Information Age Legacy
    ,, Dec. 15, 1997
  5. ^ a b c d e "Andrew Grove 1 of the 3 co-founders of Intel Corp",, July 18, 2007
  6. ^ Henderson, Harry. Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Technology, Infobase Publishing (2009) p. 218
  7. ^ a b Grove, Andrew. Physics and Technology of Semiconductor Devices, John Wiley and Sons (1971)
  8. ^ a b Grove, Andrew. Only the Paranoid Survive, Doubleday (1996)
  9. ^ Byman, Jeremy. Andrew Grove and the Intel Corporation, Morgan Reynolds (1999) p. 65
  10. ^ a b "What I've Learned: Andy Grove", Esquire magazine, May 1, 2000
  11. ^ a b c Koven, Steven G.; Gotzke, Frank. American Immigration Policy: Confronting the Nation's Challenges, Springer Science (2010) p. 81
  12. ^ The Heinz Awards, Andrew Grove profile
  13. ^ Strategic Management Society - Home
  14. ^ "IEEE Medal of Honor Recipients". IEEE. Retrieved November 20, 2010 (2010-11-20). 
  15. ^ a b "TIME: Man Of The Year". Time. 
  16. ^ CEO OF THE YEAR 1997 | Articles | CEO Index
  17. ^ "David Packard Medal of Achievement — Previous Winners (1959 to Present)". TechAmerica Foundation. Retrieved March 14, 2011 (2011-03-14). 
  18. ^ "IEEE Ernst Weber Engineering Leadership Recognition Recipients". IEEE. Retrieved November 20, 2010 (2010-11-20). 
  19. ^

Further reading

  • Tim Jackson (1998). Inside Intel: Andy Grove and the Rise of the World's Most Powerful Chip Company. Plume. ISBN 0452276438. 
  • Richard Tedlow (2006). Andy Grove. Penguin. ISBN 9781591841395. 

External links

Business positions
Preceded by
Gordon Moore
Intel CEO
Succeeded by
Craig Barrett
Awards and achievements

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