Restoring a shrunken Silicon Valley giant. Returning to lead Intel, Patrick Gelsinger sees opportunity in the chip crisis.

Rejuvenating Intel is partly about Mr. Gelsinger's own ambitions. As a young engineer, he once wrote down a goal of leading Intel one day. But in 2009, after spending his entire career at the company, he was forced out.

A year ago, he was wooed back for a surprise second chance. 

His mission is also about America's place in the world. Mr. Gelsinger wants to restore the United States to a leading role in semiconductor production, reducing the country's dependence on manufacturer's in Asia and easing a global chip shortage.

Intel, he believes, can lead the charge. If he succeeds, the impact could extend far beyond computers to just about every device with an on-off switch.

In 1979, Patrick GelsigerIntel's chief executive, was interviewed at the technical institute by a manager from Intel. Unlike most of the other students, Mr. Helsinger had heard of the company.

He breezed through the questions related to his studies and predicted he could earn bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. degrees while holding down a full-time job, said Ronald Smith, the former Intel executive who conducted the interview.

''He is very smart, very ambitious and arrogant,'' Mr. Smith said he wrote in a summary of the conversations. ''He'll fight right in.''

Mr. Gelsinger took his first plane ride to interview at Intel in California, where he started in October 1979 as a technician. He worked on improving the reliability of microprocessors while studying for a bachelor's degree at Santa Clara University.

He soon started hanging out with the engineers who designed the chips, coming up with the ideas to test the chips more efficiently. In 1982, he became the fourth engineer on the team that introduced groundbreaking 80386 microprocessor.

During a 1985 presentation near the completion of the chip, Mr. Gelsinger chided Intel'sleaders Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore and Andy Groove about balky company computers that were slowing the process.

A few days later, he got a surprise call from Mr. Grove. The Hungarian-born executive, then Intel's president who later wrote the management book '' Only the Paranoid Survive,'' had built a culture where lower-level employees were encouraged to challenge superiors if they could back up their positions. 

Mr.Grove began mentoring Mr. Gelsinger, a relationship that lasted three decades.

By 1986, Mr. Grove had persuaded Mr. Gelsinger not to pursue a doctorate at Stanford University  and instead made him, at age 24, the leader of a 100-person team designing Intel's 80486 microprocessor.

Mr. Gelsinger eventually earned roght patents, became Intel's youngest vice president with the title of chief technology officer.

His climb up Intel's ladder was shaped by another priority : his faith.

Though raised in the mainstream United Church of Christ, Mr. Gelsinger said he didn't really become a Christian until he attended the nondenominational church in Silicon Valley where he met Linda Fortune, who later became his wife. It was at that church in 1980 that he heard the minister quote from the Book of Revelation.

After Mr. Gelsinger became a born-again Christian, he wrestled privately with whether to join the clergy.

In a 2019 oral history conducted by the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., he said he eventually decided to become a ''workplace minister,'' where ''you really view yourself as working for God as your C.E.O., even though you're working for Intel.''

The Publishing continues. The World Students Society thanks Don Clark.


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