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Best of Best : Andy Grove's Leadership at Intel

  • Date Submitted: 12/21/2013 11:48 PM
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Best of the Best: Inside Andy Grove’s Leadership at Intel

hen Andrew S. Grove was a student of engineering at New York’s City College in the mid-1950s, he faced a problem. The one-year scholarship he received as a Hungarian refugee was about to run out, and to speed up his graduation, he needed to take courses in the chemical engineering department. The chairman, Professor Al Xavier Schmidt, taught a crucial course—Chem E 128. Unable to schedule an appointment with Schmidt, Grove, then a young man of 20, waited outside the classroom one day and seized his chance to present his case to the formidable professor. As Grove spoke, Schmidt, a short man with a fierce moustache, fixed his eyes on the nervous student and subjected him to an interrogation. “He cross-examined me on the spot,” Grove recalls.




Lasting Leadership

“He asked me about my courses, who I took them from, and my grades.” Schmidt apparently liked Grove’s replies—he had failed one exam in physics but got an A in the subject the next time— and admitted him to his course. “He was testing me, testing my background,” says Grove. That incident was an early example of a pattern that appears frequently in Grove’s life—converting a negative situation into a positive one through resourcefulness. As chairman and former CEO of Intel, a company he co-founded in 1968, Grove has repeatedly faced setbacks during the past 35 years but found ways to turn them into stepping stones. In the process, with Grove at its helm, Intel has grown into the world’s largest chipmaker, with 78,000 employees and more than $30 billion in annual revenues in 2003. That, in itself, is not unusual. Many companies and leaders profiled in this book have seen remarkable success during the past 25 years. Still, Intel occupies a special place among them. As the company that introduced the world’s first microprocessor in 1971, Intel has played a seminal role in the evolution of modern computing. It is impossible to...


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