Former Intel CEO Andy Grove Dead at Age 79

Andy Grove, the former Intel Corp. chief executive whose youth under Nazi occupation and escape from the Iron Curtain inspired an "only the paranoid survive" management philosophy that saved the chip maker from financial ruin in the 1980s, has died. He was 79.

Intel said Grove died on Monday, but did not specify a cause of death.

Grove, who was instrumental in building Intel into the world's largest chip company during his 37-year career there, had suffered from Parkinson's disease. He also suffered from prostate cancer in the mid-1990s.

He was a mercurial but visionary leader who helped position Intel's microprocessors as the central technology inside personal computers.

Grove's bet-the-company gamble -- moving Intel from memory chips to microprocessors in the mid-1980s to serve what was still a fledgling PC industry -- helped rescue Intel from a financial crisis and set it on course to becoming one of the most profitable and important technology companies of all time.

"Andy made the impossible happen, time and again, and inspired generations of technologists, entrepreneurs, and business leaders," Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said Monday.

Robert Burgelman, a professor at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business who started teaching management classes with Grove in the late 1980s, called Grove "one of the most incisive thinkers that I have ever come across." He said Grove's technical and strategic abilities were critical in building Intel and fending off threats from Asian competitors.

"I don't think Intel would have been Intel as we know it, and therefore the U.S. chip industry would not have been what it is" without Grove, Burgelman said.

Intel created the world's first commercial microprocessor in 1971, but the company's primary focus was memory chips for mainframe computers. That was until the personal computer was invented and a new use for Intel's microprocessors emerged.

Grove's leadership of that transition affirmed his status...

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