Legendary former Intel CEO Andy Grove dies at 79

Former Intel chief executive officer and chairman Andrew Grove died on Monday (March 21) at age 79.
Former Intel chief executive officer and chairman Andrew Grove died on Monday (March 21) at age 79. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG, REUTERS) - Mr Andy Grove, who fled from Nazi and Soviet oppression to become one of the most powerful business leaders in the global tech industry as the chairman and CEO of Intel, died on Monday (March 21). He was 79.

The cause of death was not reported, although Mr Grove was a longtime sufferer of Parkinson's disease.

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of former Intel chairman and CEO Andy Grove," Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said in a statement on the company's website. "Andy made the impossible happen, time and again, and inspired generations of technologists, entrepreneurs, and business leaders."

A Hungarian-born refugee, he became one of the founders of Intel, playing a key role in building it up from a 1960s start-up to the world's largest semi-conductor maker, a title it still holds.

Mr Grove, who literally wrote the book on how to foresee and overcome a corporate crisis with Only the Paranoid Survive, also broke new ground by making his electronics component-maker a household brand name central to the worldwide adoption of the personal computer.

Always seeking to pass along the benefits of his experiences, Mr Grove acted as a mentor to many of Silicon Valley's elite - from Mr Larry Ellison and Mr Steve Jobs to Mr Mark Zuckerberg.

Mr Grove was born Andras Grof in Budapest, Hungary, in 1936. When he was eight, the Nazis invaded Hungary and sent 500,000 Jews to concentration camps.

In his memoirs, Mr Grove recounts assuming a false identity along with his mother, and being hidden away by friends until the occupation ended. During the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, he escaped to Austria and then America.

After obtaining a bachelor's degree in New York, Mr Grove went to California, where he earned a PhD in 1963 from the University of California at Berkeley.

He and his wife Eva were married for 58 years and had two daughters and eight grandchildren.