Andrew Stephen Grove was born in Hungary but lived in America and is one of the most lauded businessmen and engineers in recent history. He pioneered research in the semiconductor industry after escaping from Communist Hungary in his 20s. He then built the largest factory of semiconductors we know today as Intel.
Grove is celebrated as one of the forefathers of electronics manufacturing and how it is performed to this day. It is said that Steve Jobs idolized him and would call him for personal career advice. In 2000, he was diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease.
In 1968, he joined Intel as the Director of Engineering and kickstarted the companies electronic manufacturing wing. They started with dynamic memory chips and then moved on to microprocessors. By 1997, the company had progressed past the $20 billion mark.
On the growth of Intel, Grove said, “In various bits and pieces, we have steered Intel from a start-up to one of the central companies of the information economy.” Grove thrust Intel from being plain manufacturers of memory chips into undoubtedly the most important company for microprocessors.
One of Grove’s mottos was as follows: “Business success contains the seeds of its own destruction. Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.”
Grove died on the 21st of March, 2016 at the age of 79 years old.
Condolences have been streaming in after the passing of Grove, with engineers sending their well-wishes to his family and remembering the master of engineering he was.
Grove not only cared about microprocessors, he was also interested in lending a hand wherever he could in engineering and science fields. University of California San Franciso Chancellor, Sam Hawgood, said, “Andy Grove was a champion of innovation in the health sciences. His generous and tireless support of UCSF has transformed our university and helped accelerate our research into breakthrough treatments and better patient care.”
In the seventh episode of the Engineering News Network, hosted by Steve Mackay, Dean of Engineering at the Engineering Institue of Technology, he recounts what made Andrew Grove special. He said, “[He was] an amazing guy, extremely modest, design orientated, extremely precise, meticulous, all of those great attributes of a fine engineer. And, in addition, he had creativity.”
Mackay also spoke of the difference Grove was making in the engineering world as one of the last feats before his sad passing. Mackay said, “One of the last contributions he made was to emphasise jobs over money. He was very interested in the US economy, creating jobs rather than just making bucks.”