The third person hired by the cofounders of the Intel Corporation, the Hungarian-born Grove rose relatively quickly to the company’s top management position.
Born in Hungary’s capital city, Budapest, András Gróf grew up in the town of Bácsalmás near the border with present-day Serbia. His early childhood was darkened by the virulent anti-Semitism of Nazi Germany, then the “liberation” by the Soviet Union that quickly turned into an oppressive regime. When he was four, he contracted scarlet fever and lost most of his hearing.
After Hungary’s failed uprising against the Soviet Union in 1956, the twenty-year-old Gróf fled to the United States, where he Americanized his surname to Grove. He earned a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of California in Berkeley in 1963 and was subsequently hired at Fairchild Semiconductor by Robert Norton Noyce, whom he followed to the microchip maker Intel. Grove often collided with Noyce’s personnel policy, which he considered excessively liberal, and he eventually took over the day-to-day managerial functions, driving his employees hard but winning their respect because he drove himself just as hard. From 1987 to 1998, he served as Intel’s chief executive officer, and from 1979 to 1997 he served as president. After nominally retiring from Intel, he continued to advise the company and remained a respected figure throughout Silicon Valley.
Jackson, Tim. Inside Intel: Andy Grove and the Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Chip Company. New York: Dutton, 1997. Tedlow, Richard S. Andy Grove: The Life and Times of an American. New York: Portfolio, 2006. Yu, Albert. Creating the Digital Future: The Secrets of Consistent Innovation at Intel. New York: Free Press, 1998.
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