Hungarian-born US computer entrepreneur. Together with Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce, Grove participated in the founding of the microprocessor manufacturing company Intel in 1968, of which he remains chairman. As president from 1979 and as chief executive from 1987, he was responsible for building Intel into the dominant company in its sector. In 1997 he was nominated Time magazine's Man of the Year.
Often described as a hard taskmaster, Grove is recognized as much for his management style as his business strategy. In 1979 he contracted to supply microprocessors for IBM compatible PCs, securing Intel's position as the industry standard over Motorola. As Japanese competition grew, Grove pulled Intel out of the memory business in 1985 to concentrate on microprocessors, reportedly ordering Intel's staff to work 25% harder. In 1994 he was forced to recall Intel's long-awaited Pentium chip (because of errors in the calculation of extremely large numbers) at a cost of $475 million.
Grove was born in Budapest into a Jewish family. His father was a dairyman, his mother a bookkeeping clerk. When he was four years old, he nearly died of scarlet fever which impaired his hearing (he later had reconstructive surgery in the USA). Surviving the Nazi and Soviet occupations of Hungary, he emigrated to the USA and changed his name. He arrived in the USA in 1956 as a refugee from the Soviet invasion of Hungary. He graduated from the City College of New York in 1960 with a degree in chemical engineering, and received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1963. He then joined the research and development laboratory of Fairchild Semiconductor, becoming assistant director in 1967. Dissatisfied with the Fairchild management, he accepted an invitation to join Intel as director of operations in 1968.
Almost from the start, Grove ran Intel on a day-to-day basis, first organizing the office space and manufacturing capacity. He is credited with negotiating the contract with IBM compatible PCs in 1979 that made Intel's microprocessor the industry standard. From 1985, after Japanese companies had captured a significant market share of the memory business, Grove concentrated wholly on microprocessors. He also sold a stake in the company to IBM fearing a hostile takeover. The failure of Intel's new Pentium chip in 1994 was initially met with a refusal to take the situation seriously. However, after a public relations nightmare, Grove agreed to spend $475 million to replace all the chips. In May 1997 he replaced Moore as chairman and in May 1998, following treatment for cancer, he stepped down as CEO (but remained chair).
For six years he lectured in semiconductor device physics at the University of California, Berkeley. As a lecturer at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, he teaches a course entitled Strategy and Action in the Information Processing Industry.
His publications include Physics and Technology of Semiconductor Devices (1967), High Output Management (1983), and Only the Paranoid Survive (1996), which is said to be a reflection of his management style. An author of articles in Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times, he has written a weekly syndicated column on management for several newspapers and a column on management for Working Woman magazine. Grove has also written over 40 technical papers and holds several patents on semiconductor devices and technology.
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