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Time picks Intel chief as Man of the Year


Andrew Grove's mark is everywhere

December 20, 1997
Web posted at: 2:00 p.m. EST (1900 GMT)

(CNN) -- Editors at Time have named Andrew Grove, chairman of Intel, as the magazine's 1997 Man of the Year.

So what's the big deal about a man who heads a computer company?

Computer chips.

Under Grove's leadership, Intel has done more than any other company to populate the planet with the tiny microprocessors.

A L S O :

Time's transcript of interviews with Grove

Intel chips probably power your PC, the scanner at your grocery store and even the automatic teller that dispenses your cash on demand. The chips are the "brain" in your car, and in the alarm clock that wakes you in the morning.

Computer chips are everywhere you look, and in places you never dreamed of.

They are the driving force behind what has transformed us from an industrial to an informational society.

Faster, faster

If you think a Pentium processor is fast now, just wait a few more years.

In October, Intel and Hewlett-Packard unveiled the details of a joint venture that experts say will be a key element in PCs through the first few decades of the next century: a new microprocessor called the Merced chip.

The Merced is expected to deliver processing speeds of about 900 megahertz -- three times current speeds of the fastest Pentium processors.

Immigrant overcomes a difficult past

Grove was born Andras Grof in Budapest, Hungary, in 1936. When the Nazis took over the city in 1944, his mother found a family to hide her and her son for the rest of the war.

In 1956, when Hungary was invaded by the Soviet Army, the 20-year-old Grof decided to escape to Austria. From there, he emigrated to the United States, where he studied chemical engineering at the City College of New York.

The young engineer began his computer career in "Silicon Valley" at Fairchild Semiconductor in 1963. He was hired away in 1968 by the founder of Intel, Gordon Moore, who called Grove "the most organized person I have ever met in my life."

Grove later became chairman and chief executive officer of the company that had built its reputation on memory chips. During the 1980s, to stave off competition from the Japanese, Grove decided to move Intel's focus toward a new business -- the microprocessor.

Intel lost $203 million in 1986, then made more than $5 billion 10 years later.

Today, Intel is valued at $114 billion.

CNN is a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc.


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