Andy Grove: The Life and Times of an American

Andy Grove: The Life and Times of an American

by Richard S. Tedlow, Andy Grove

The definitive biography of an enigmatic business legend

Andy Grove, the CEO of Intel during its years of explosive growth, is on the shortlist of America's most admired businesspeople, along with Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates. Brilliant, brave, and willing to defy conventional wisdom, Grove is, according to Harvard Business School professor

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The definitive biography of an enigmatic business legend

Andy Grove, the CEO of Intel during its years of explosive growth, is on the shortlist of America's most admired businesspeople, along with Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates. Brilliant, brave, and willing to defy conventional wisdom, Grove is, according to Harvard Business School professor Richard S. Tedlow, “the best model we have for leading a business in the twenty-first century.”

Grove gave Tedlow unprecedented access to his private papers, along with wide-ranging interviews and access to his closest friends and key business associates. Nothing was off limits, and Tedlow was free to draw his own conclusions. The result is not just a gripping life story but a fascinating analysis of how Grove attacks problems.

Born a Hungarian Jew in 1936, Andras Istvan Grof survived the Nazis only to face the Soviet invasion of his country. He fled to America at age twenty, studied engineering, and arrived in Silicon Valley just in time for a historic opportunity. He became the third employee of Intel, working for the legendary Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce.

As talented as he was as an engineer, Grove became an even better manager, as we learn from exclusive excerpts from his secret management diaries. Tedlow shows us exactly how that penniless immigrant taught himself to lead a major corporation through some of the toughest challenges in the history of business.

This is an inspiring biography that will enthrall anyone who cares about technology or leadership.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
In this highly readable but deliberately paced biography, Harvard professor and historian Tedlow (Giants of Enterprise) makes a case for Andy Grove (b. 1936) taking a place alongside Benjamin Franklin as a quintessential American businessman and citizen. Indeed, Grove rose from being a penniless Hungarian refugee to an engineer hired as Intel's third employee, eventually heading the corporation "one of the most profitable companies in all of business history." Tedlow builds the book around a year-by-year, blow-by-blow account of Intel's ups and downs, punctuated by Grove's contemporaneous musings, drawn from his private notebooks. Following the company over the rocky patches in its trajectory from semiconductors to microprocessors, Tedlow situates Intel among its industry partners and competitors. Sometimes, there's too much context: the author conveys a good deal about Hungary's modern political history and scrutinizes every available scrap of information about his subject's childhood. There are also 20 pages on the 1994 Pentium "floating point flaw" debacle and 15 pages on Grove's battle with prostate cancer. But as a biography of Intel as well as a primer on Grove's writings and management philosophy, the book is truly illuminating. In offering a closeup portrait of this prickly but gifted executive, Tedlow helps us understand why Grove's tenure as Intel's CEO "was so spectacularly successful." (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Tedlow (Business Administration/Harvard; Giants of Enterprise, not reviewed) profiles Intel guru Andy Grove. Grove's life story is, indeed, the American dream: He immigrated to the US in the 1950s, a penniless refugee, and landed a job at Intel, where he eventually served as CEO, overseeing a terrific increase in sales, profits and market capitalization. His Silicon Valley leadership earned him, among other plaudits, the spot as Time's Man of the Year in 1997. Now a quasi-retired "advisor" to Intel, Grove oversees his family's philanthropic foundation. Here, Tedlow addresses some of his subject's more controversial opinions-such as his belief that stock options should not be expensed, because without the incentive provided by stock options, American technological ingenuity would suffer. The author is willing to criticize Grove; he suggests that Intel didn't benefit from Grove's intransigence about expensing stock options, and that Grove's judgment may have been clouded. Even so, Tedlow is clearly an admirer, likening Grove to Benjamin Franklin (both liked to write and refused to let age slow them down), Andrew Carnegie (both immigrants' lives are rags-to-riches stories) and Odysseus (who, like Grove, was a born leader who refused to accept defeat). But for all these high-flying comparisons, Tedlow's evaluation of Grove is pedestrian-the central idea seems to be that the key to Grove's leadership is his willingness to adapt and change. Tedlow explains the technologies like the Pentium processor in terms a layman can follow. But he too frequently falls into clich�: "The future was limitless," etc. Despite the large body of writing about Grove-including his own memoir, Swimming Across(2001)-Tedlow contends, rightly, that an aura of mystery surrounds the man. What makes him tick? How does he make his business decisions? This biography, based on unfettered access to the subject and those close to him, is engaging and informative, but never fully dispels the mystery. An ultimately unsurprising contribution to business literature. Agent: Helen Rees/Helen Rees Literary Agency

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.34(w) x 9.26(h) x 1.85(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Reed Hundt
"This page-turning drama, told by a master biographer, combines both the grand narrative and the fascinating details of Andy Grove's life. Perhaps many already know that Grove is the greatest American business leader of his generation, but everyone will be enthralled by the twists, turns, surprises, and triumphs of Tedlow's true story."
former chairman, Federal Communications Commission
John Doerr
"Tedlow's Andy Grove is a tour de force. You must read this. It's the extraordinary, warm, and detailed story of Andy Grove -immigration, innovation, and leadership."
one of the nation's leading venture capitalists
Eric Schmidt
"Andy Grove is everything Richard Tedlow describes in this definitive biography. Andy defines leadership in the modern age and Tedlow captures it perfectly."
CEO, Google Inc.
Robert J. Dolan
"Like Astaire and Rogers, Lennon and McCartney, or Tracy and Hepburn, Grove and Tedlow are the perfect match. Tedlow is a master craftsman-great words, great wit. This book transcends the 'learn from the successful CEO' genre just as Intel's performance under Grove transcended the normal corporate landscape."
dean, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
Michael Dell
"Andy recognized the future and helped make it happen. I have benefited from his insight and skills over the years as have millions of consumers throughout the world."
chairman, Dell, Inc.

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