Andy Grove Passes AwayDamien Moye
Former Intel CEO Andy Grove passed away. He was 79 years old.
He was born Andras Istvan Grof in Hungry, and grew up when during World War 2, when his nation was occupied by the Nazis. His father barely survived a concentration camp. He had dreams of becoming a journalist. But in 1956 Russian Communists leaders took over Hungry and arrested his free thinking journalist uncle. This shattered Grove’s journalist dreams. In 1957, he escaped the Iron Curtain, fleeing first to Austria, then to the United States. Within six years, he would marry his wife of 58 years, study chemistry at City College at New York, obtain his Doctorate at Cal-Berkeley, and landed a research job at Fairchild Semiconductor.
In 1968, his bosses founded Intel. Grove was hired as an overseer. He gained the reputation as a strict law-and-order disciplinarian, even keeping a ‘late list’. But employees respected him for being personable. He was at Intel when they pioneered DRAM (dynamic random access memory). But under Grove’s guidance, they refocused on micro processing, and turned Intel into a tech business powerhouse. In 1979, Grove became Intel’s president and became CEO in 1987. He served as board chairman from 1997 to 2005. During the Grove era, Intel revenue went form $1.9 billion annually to $26 billion annually. Intel beat out dozens of competitors and became the dominant microprocessor company. By 1994, when Intel launched Pentium, Intel wasn’t the leader; it was the dominant one in the field. Grove’s ‘take no prisoners’ attitude caused lots of friction, even massive drawn out lawsuits. But Intel still came out on top.
Andy Grove’s business philosophy can be summed up in his best selling books High Output Management (1983) and Only the Paranoid Survive (1999). It explains a Darwinian mentality of if a business doesn’t constantly evolve and improve, it will eventually fail. That mentality had a huge impact not only on Intel, but all of Silicon Valley. In fact, one could call Grove a founding father of Silicon Valley. Tributes are pouring in. Tim Cook remembers him as an American patriot and tech giant. Venture capitalist John Doerr called him a great mentor and educator. Mark Andreessen said Grove was the best company builder in Silicon Valley history. And he was. Grove rose up from a childhood and adolescence of hardship and dictatorship, and rose to be a tech giant and business revolutionary. He encouraged others to do the same: To rise up from what you were given and strive to where you want to be. This is why Andy Grove has my utmost respect. What would you say about Andy Grove?