Andrew Stephen "Andy" Grove (born András István Gróf; 2 September 1936 – 21 March 2016) was a Hungarian-born American businessman, engineer, and author. He was a science pioneer in the semiconductor industry. He escaped from Communist-controlled Hungary at the age of 20 and moved to the United States where he finished his education. He later became CEO of Intel Corporation and helped transform the company into the world's largest manufacturer of semiconductors.
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. Steve Jobs, when he was considering returning to be Apple's CEO, called Grove, who was someone he "idolized," for his personal advice. One source notes that by his accomplishments at Intel alone, he "merits a place alongside the great business leaders of the 20th century."
In 2000, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and was a contributor to several foundations that sponsor research towards a cure. He died at his home on 21 March 2016, the cause of death was unspecified.
Early life and education
Grove was born to a middle-class Jewish family in Budapest, Hungary, the son of Maria and George Gróf. 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. 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. 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. He spoke English with a Hungarian accent.
Grove summarized 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.
Soon after arriving in the United States, in New York, in 1957, he met his future wife, Eva Kastan, 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 been married since, having two daughters.
Even though he arrived in the United States with little money, Grove retained a "passion for learning." 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.
CareerHelping start up Intel
After completing his Ph.D. in 1963, Grove worked at Fairchild Semiconductor as a researcher, and by 1967 had become its assistant director of development. His work there made him familiar with the early development of integrated circuits, which would lead to the "microcomputer revolution" in the 1970s. In 1967, he wrote a college textbook on the subject, Physics and Technology of Semiconductor Devices.
In 1968, Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore co-founded Intel, after they and Andrew Grove left Fairchild Semiconductor. Andrew Grove joined on the day of its incorporation, although was not a founder according to the company. Fellow Hungarian émigré Leslie L. Vadász was Intel's fourth employee. 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.
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 continued his work at Intel as a senior advisor and had 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.
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.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. . ."
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. According to Grove, "Business success contains the seeds of its own destruction," explaining that "Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive." 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. Biographer Jeremy Byman observes that Grove "was the one person at Intel who refused to let the company rest on its laurels." 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.
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." They termed this style "constructive confrontation." 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."
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." 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. 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.
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." 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.Other accomplishments
Grove was also a noted author and scientist. His first book on semiconductors, Physics and Technology of Semiconductor Devices (1967), 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.
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."
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.
Honors and awards
- The 1st Annual Heinz Award in Technology, the Economy and Employment. 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."
- On 25 August 2009, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that Grove would be one of 13 California Hall of Fame inductees in The California Museum's yearlong exhibit. The induction ceremony was on 1 December 2009 in Sacramento.
- Strategic Management Society's Lifetime Achievement Award (2001)
- IEEE Medal of Honor (2000)
- Time Magazine's Man of the Year (1997)
- "1997 Technology Leader of the Year", IndustryWeek.com, 15 December 1997
- Chief Executive's CEO of the Year (1997)
- Medal of Achievement from the American Electronics Association (1993)
- IEEE Engineering Leadership Recognition Award (1987)
- Franklin Institute Certificate of Merit (1975)
- In 2006 he made a 26,000,000 USD donation to City College of New York, the largest donation ever made to that school. The "Grove School of Engineering" was created from the donation.
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