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Andrew Stephen Grove (Gróf)

Hungarian: Gróf András István
Also Known As: "Andy"
Birthdate: (79)
Birthplace: Budapest, Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
Death: March 21, 2016 (79)
Los Altos, Santa Clara County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of George Grove and Maria Grove
Husband of Private
Father of Private and Private

Occupation: Chairman of Intel
Managed by: Randy Schoenberg
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Andy Grove

Andrew Stephen ("Andy") Grove (born 2 September 1936), is a Hungarian-born American businessman, engineer, and author. He is 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.[2] Steve Jobs, when he was considering returning to be Apple's CEO, called Grove, who was someone he "idolized," for his personal advice.[3] One source notes that by his accomplishments at Intel alone, he "merits a place alongside the great business leaders of the 20th century."[4]

In 2000, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and is a contributor to several foundations that sponsor research towards a cure.

Early life and education[edit] Grove was born András István Gróf, 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.[4] 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.[4] 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] To this day, he speaks English with a Hungarian accent.[6]

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]

Soon after arriving in the United States, in New York, in 1957, he met his future wife, Eva Kastan, who was a fellow refugee.[7] 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.[8]

Even though he arrived in the United States with little money, Grove retained a "passion for learning."[9] 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.

Career[edit] Helping start up Intel[edit] After graduating college in 1963, Grove worked at Fairchild Semiconductor as a researcher, and by 1967 had become its assistant director of development.[10] 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.[11]

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.[2] 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.[9]

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.[9]

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.[9]

Management methods and style[edit] 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. . ."[9]

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.[12] According to Grove, "Business success contains the seeds of its own destruction,"[9] explaining that "Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive."[12] 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.[9] Biographer Jeremy Byman observes that Grove "was the one person at Intel who refused to let the company rest on its laurels."[13] 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.[14]

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."[9] They termed this style "constructive confrontation."[8] 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."[8]

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."[9] 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.[8] 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.[8]

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."[9] 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.[9]

Other accomplishments[edit] Grove is also a noted author and scientist. His first book on semiconductors, Physics and Technology of Semiconductor Devices (1967),[11] 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.[15]

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."[15]

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.[14]

Honors and awards[edit] The 1st Annual Heinz Award in Technology, the Economy and Employment.[16] 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."[15] On August 25, 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 December 1, 2009 in Sacramento. Strategic Management Society's Lifetime Achievement Award (2001) [17] IEEE Medal of Honor (2000) [18] Time Magazine's Man of the Year (1997) [19] "1997 Technology Leader of the Year",, Dec. 15, 1997[9] Chief Executive's CEO of the Year (1997) [20] Medal of Achievement from the American Electronics Association (1993) [21] IEEE Engineering Leadership Recognition Award (1987) [22] 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. Books written by Andrew Grove[edit] A. S. Grove (1967). Physics and Technology of Semiconductor Devices. Wiley. ISBN 0-471-32998-3. A. S. Grove (1988). One on One With Andy Grove. Penguin Putnam. ISBN 0-14-010935-8. A. S. Grove (1995). High Output Management. Random House. ISBN 0-679-76288-4. (originally published in 1983) A. S. Grove (1996). Only the Paranoid Survive. Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-48258-2. A. S. Grove (2001). Swimming Across: A Memoir. ISBN 0-446-67970-4. Robert Burgelman and A. S. Grove (2001). Strategy Is Destiny: How Strategy-Making Shapes a Company's Future. ISBN 0-684-85554-2. Robert A. Burgelman, Andrew S. Grove and Philip E. Meza (2005). Strategic Dynamics: Concepts and Cases. McGraw-Hill/Irwin. ISBN 0-07-312265-3.

NY Times Obituary

Andrew S. Grove, the longtime chief executive and chairman of Intel Corporation who was one of the most acclaimed and influential personalities of the computer and Internet era, died on Monday at his home in Los Altos, Calif. He was 79 years old.

The cause of his death has not yet been determined, said Chuck Mulloy, a spokesman for the family.

At Intel, Mr. Grove helped midwife the semiconductor revolution — the use of increasingly sophisticated chips to power computers — that proved to be as momentous for economic and social development as hydrocarbon fuels, electricity and telephones were in earlier eras. Intel’s microprocessors were also essential for digital cameras, consumer electronic products, household appliances, toys, manufacturing equipment and a wide assortment of devices that depended on computerized functions.

Besides presiding over the development of Intel’s memory chips and microprocessors in laboratory research, Mr. Grove gained a reputation as a ruthlessly effective manager who spurred associates and cowed rivals in a cutthroat, high-tech business world where companies rose and fell at startling speed. Mr. Grove’s famous slogan, “Only the Paranoid Survive,” became the title of his 1996 best seller describing his management philosophy.

Adding to Mr. Grove’s appeal was his rags-to-riches immigrant story. A survivor of the Nazi Holocaust and the 1956 Soviet invasion of his native Hungary, he arrived in the United States as a penniless youth who spoke little English and suffered from severe hearing loss. Within decades, Mr. Grove was worth hundreds of millions of dollars. And in 1997, he was chosen “Man of the Year” by Time magazine as “the person most responsible for the amazing growth in the power and the innovative potential of microchips.”

Mr. Grove in some ways was considered “the father” of Silicon Valley, said David B. Yoffie, a professor of the Harvard Business School and longtime Intel board member. Mr. Grove’s influence, Mr. Yoffie said, came largely from his ideas about organizational practices and design — Intel was the birthplace of non-hierarchical, open settings and low-partitioned cubicles rather than walled-in offices.

Mr. Grove’s work ethic, his personal drive and his notion of the value of “creative confrontation” became the managerial model for generations of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and executives like Apple’s co-founder Steven P. Jobs, who regularly sought Mr. Grove’s counsel, said Mr. Yoffie.

Mr. Grove, a tightly coiled, slim man of medium height, was by no means infallible. Several times during his long involvement with Intel, the Silicon Valley giant courted disaster. The causes ranged from unexpectedly tough competition to faulty Intel products to poor management decisions.

But Intel rebounded stronger from each episode, thanks largely to Mr. Grove’s ability to recognize the gravity of a crisis and set a new course. “There are waves and then there’s a tsunami,” he wrote in “Only the Paranoid Survive.” “When a change in how some element of one’s business is conducted becomes an order of magnitude larger than what that business is accustomed to, then all bets are off.”

Mr. Grove’s management ideas helped make Intel, headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., one of the most profitable companies in the world, with an average annual return of more than 40 percent for its shareholders from the late 1980s to the turn of the century.

Andrew S. Grove was born András Gróf on Sept. 2, 1936, into a Jewish household in Budapest. His father owned a small dairy business, and his mother helped keep the books. As a child, Grove was afflicted with scarlet fever and an ear infection that left him almost deaf. His father was rounded up by German troops occupying Hungary during World War II and sent to a labor camp, where he survived typhoid and pneumonia.

Meanwhile, young Grove and his mother were hidden by a Christian family until the war’s end. In a 1997 Time magazine interview, Mr. Grove recalled that at eight years of age he was told by his mother to assume a Christian alias. “She explained to me that I cannot make a mistake, that I had to forget my name,” said Mr. Grove.

Liberation from the Nazis was followed by Communist rule in Hungary, and then by the Hungarian uprising of 1956 that was put down by Russian troops. Mr. Grove, who was studying chemistry, decided to flee the country after a number of his fellow students were arrested. He and a friend crossed the border into Austria after a night spent evading Soviet troops.

Several weeks later, he boarded a refugee ship to New York, and from there was taken to a former POW camp in New Jersey until his immigration papers were in order. “We thought that all the propaganda was true, that America was just another drab, totalitarian state,” said Mr. Grove in a 1995 interview with Fortune magazine, in which he recalled his first impressions of the United States.

Mr. Grove, who Americanized his name within weeks, moved in with an aunt and uncle living in a small Brooklyn apartment. He enrolled as a chemical engineering student at the City College of New York, and graduated at the top of his class despite struggling with English and impaired hearing. Mr. Grove got through lectures by learning to lip read and then deciphering his notes at home or at the library. “I had to go over each day’s work again at night with a dictionary at my side,” he told The New York Times in a 1960 article that focused on that year’s outstanding CCNY graduates.

In 1958, he married Eva, another Hungarian refugee, whom he met the previous summer at a New Hampshire resort where both worked as waiters. They moved to California, where Mr. Grove earned a doctorate in chemical engineering at the University of California at Berkeley. They had two daughters — whose names were never revealed by the media because of Mr. Grove’s insistence on protecting their privacy.

In the early 1960s, Mr. Grove joined Fairchild Semiconductor, a fledgling computer science firm. He led a research team that sought to embed transistors on wafers of silicon, a low-heat conducting element commonly found in sand. Silicon chips — each with first hundreds, then thousands, and then millions, of transistors — vastly lowered the cost and extended the scope of computers, which had once depended on bulky vacuum tubes that easily overheated and later arrays of individual transistors. Mr. Grove’s team also succeeded in reducing the instability of transistors by removing sodium impurities from silicon chips.

The widespread use of silicon by upstart computer hardware and software companies near San Francisco gave Silicon Valley its name. In 1968, Mr. Grove joined Intel, a new semiconductor manufacturer that emerged as a Silicon Valley leader. Intel was founded by two former colleagues at Fairchild, Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, to supply memory chips for mainframe computers. Mr. Grove was put in charge of factory production and soon gained a reputation as a hard-driving manager.

Part of the heavy workload at Intel resulted from Moore’s law — named after Gordon Moore, who postulated that microchips would double in power and halve in price every 18 months, thus rendering older chips and the computers that used them obsolete. To meet voracious market demand for new-generation chips, Mr. Grove insisted that Intel employees regularly work many overtime hours.

Meetings were kept brief and discussions were heated. “Andy Grove helped build a philosophy at Intel Corp. known as ‘creative confrontation,’  ” wrote The Wall Street Journal in 2002. “The phrase, in essence, means that it’s better for employees to get in shouting matches and solve problems quickly.” But most of the shouting was done by Mr. Grove, who was named in 1984 by Fortune as one of the country’s toughest bosses.

When answers from engineers and executives angered him, Mr. Grove ripped off the bulky hearing aid he wore like earphones and slammed it on the table. (His hearing was finally corrected in middle age after a half-dozen operations). In a 2004 New York Times story, Craig Barrett, an Intel colleague who eventually succeeded him as chief executive officer, said Mr. Grove’s management style “was to hit you over the head with a two-by-four.”

But those who survived the grueling pace were amply rewarded. With their company reaching a market valuation of more than $500 billion in 2000, several thousand Intel employees became millionaires by exercising their stock options. And many of them acknowledged that Mr. Grove’s overbearing management had pulled Intel through crises that often proved fatal to other Silicon Valley firms.

The first major crisis was linked to the rise of cheaper, high-quality Japanese memory chips beginning in the late 1970’s. Instead of cutting costs by laying off staff, Mr. Grove demanded that Intel employees work an extra two hours a day — for free. Almost simultaneously, Intel introduced an advanced chip, the i432 microprocessor, that the company claimed would reshape computing’s future.

Instead, it proved a disaster, running 5 to 10 times more slowly than competitors. Part of the problem, Mr. Grove conceded in a 2001 interview with Wired magazine, was that he initially failed to take microprocessors seriously enough. “I was running an assembly line designed to build memory chips,” he said. “I saw the microprocessor as a bloody nuisance.”

But with Mr. Grove at the helm, Intel soon made the transition from memory chip to microprocessor giant. By the early 1980s, personal computers became a widespread phenomenon — and Intel microprocessors powered more than 80 percent of these new machines. With Microsoft, itself an upstart software firm that had been tapped by I.B.M. to provide an operating system for the company’s personal computer, Intel would completely reshape the computer industry. The two companies created a duopoly, dubbed “Wintel,” that not only eclipsed I.B.M.’s office dominance, but extended personal computers into homes as well.

Intel’s momentum was abruptly halted in 1994 when the firm released millions of flawed Pentium microprocessor chips. Mr. Grove and his engineers reacted by assuring customers that the glitch would only affect the most advanced sort of computing processes. That cavalier response led to a public relations — and near financial — disaster for Intel, with thousands of clients demanding non-defective chips and media stories trumpeting their discontent.

Reversing course, Mr. Grove and Intel agreed to spend $475 million to replace the defective microprocessors. In the end, the episode boosted the company’s fortunes by making the Pentium and later the Centrino chip a brand name as recognizable to the public as the Dell, Apple or Sony computers they powered.

Rivals complained that Intel had a stranglehold on microprocessors, by far the most profitable segment of the semiconductor market. “It’s a problem of patents, not technology,” said Lim Hyung Kyu, head of worldwide research for Samsung Electronics, in a 2004 interview with Institutional Investor magazine. “And Intel has all the patents.”

Other competitors asserted that Mr. Grove warned big Intel customers, such as computer firms Dell, Compaq and Gateway, not to buy microprocessors elsewhere. “In my view Intel goes right to the edge — and sometimes over it — to exclude people from providing chips to those guys,” said Jerry Sanders, chief executive officer at Advanced Micro Devices, an Intel rival, in a 1997 Time article.

Mr. Grove served as chief executive of Intel until 1998 and then served as Chairman of the Board until 2005. He did not slow the company’s pace, even as Intel entered the Internet era. “We are now living on Internet time,” he said in 1997 during the peak of the dot-com era. “It’s a new territory,” Mr. Grove said, “and the cyber equivalent of the Oklahoma land rush is on.”

In his 50s, Mr. Grove publicly and successfully battled prostate cancer. In 2000 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Mr. Grove often insisted that the withering criticism of his management style and business tactics never troubled him, and that he was unconcerned about his legacy. “I’ve had a wonderful life,” he told Wired in a lengthy 2001 interview. “What people are going to write about me 10 years after I’m dead — who cares?”

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Andy Grove's Timeline

September 2, 1936
Budapest, Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
March 21, 2016
Age 79
Los Altos, Santa Clara County, California, United States