Intel Legend And Former CEO Andrew Grove Was Gelsinger’s Mentor
Andrew Grove was an Intel engineering legend, taking the reins as president in 1979 followed by the CEO position in 1987. Grove led Intel for 11 years until relinquishing his CEO role in 1998 after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, remaining Intel’s chairman of the board until 2004.
“Andy was a personal mentor and friend for 35 years,” said Gelsinger on stage during The Channel Company’s 2018 Best of Breed conference. “Mentoring with Andy Grove was like going to the dentist and not getting Novocaine. He was tough; he was hard.”
Gelsinger reflected on one memory he had of being mentored by Grove.
“I gave what was probably one of the three most important strategy presentations ever done at Intel, and I had just finished with one of them—it was the multi-core strategy when we moved from a single- core, single-threaded machine, I drove that strategy for the company—and I got done and it was the culmination of six months of work. And it‘s like going to your dad and looking for approval, give me your blessing,” said Gelsinger. “And [Grove] said to me, ‘You didn’t give me a marketing plan yet.’ I finished a seminal restructuring of the entire company and that’s all he said. I worked for him for 30 years and he complimented me only four times. I have them written down and notarized. But he made you better.”
Grove passed away in 2016. “When he passed away, it was a very sad day, sad week for me,” Gelsinger said during the 2018 conference.