NEW YORK (Dec. 23)
Time magazine has named a Jewish Holocaust survivor its 1997 “Man of the Year.”
The magazine honored Andrew Grove, who is the chairman and CEO of Intel, which produces nearly 90 percent of the world’s personal computer microprocessors.
In honoring Grove, 61, Time said he possessed a “paranoia bred from his having been a refugee,” combined with an “entrepreneurial optimism” and a “sharpness tinged with arrogance.”
Grove was born Andras Grof in Hungary to a dairyman and a bookkeeper.
He and his mother survived the 1944 roundups in Budapest by posing as “acquaintances of a Christian family,” according to Time.
After the war, he studied chemistry — opera was another passion.
When the Russians invaded Hungary in 1956, Grove left, escaping over the border into Austria by foot.
He made his way to Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived with an aunt and uncle, and enrolled in New York’s City College, where he graduated first in the 1960 engineering class.
After earning a doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley, Grove chose a job at Fairchild Semiconductor, a start-up company.
With his bosses, he moved to Intel in 1968, and in 1987, he was named to head the company.
He has earned a reputation as a demanding manager within the company and a ruthless destroyer of Intel’s competition.
It has paid off for Intel.
Intel produces the Pentium II chip. The company is now worth $115 billion and earns $5.1 billion annually in profits, making it the seventh most profitable company in the world.
And it has paid off for Grove. He and his wife, Eva, whom he met in 1957 when he was working at a busboy at a New Hampshire resort, have an estimated net worth of more than $300 million.
Despite all of his successes, Grove’s life experience appears to have taught him about the transience of life. He received another reminder of this fact in 1994, when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Perhaps this is why, when asked by Time to contemplate technology, he answered, “Technology happens. It’s not good or bad.”