The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Arthur Rock begins the interview with a discussion of his family and educational background. In 1944, Rock joined the United States Army. After World War II, Rock attended Syracuse University, and then continued on to Harvard Business School. After his schooling, Rock began to work on Wall Street and discovered that he had an interest and affinity for business in technology. At Hayden Stone and Company he worked in the corporate department to establish technological companies such as General Transistor. In the late 1950s, Rock received a letter from Eugene Kleiner that sparked his interest. He met the “Traitorous Eight,” from Shockley Semiconductor and the wheels of venture capitalism were set in motion. Rock's ambitions for the group were so radical that thirty-five companies declined them financial backing before Sherman Fairchild invested what was needed to start Fairchild Semiconductor. Afterwards, in 1961, Rock moved from his home in New York to San Francisco, where he formed Davis & Rock, a firm that lasted for seven years, with Thomas Davis. This pioneering venture capital firm met with great success, creating other semiconductor firms, such as Teledyne Technologies, Inc. Rock reflects on the growing connection between semiconductors and computers and then the decision of Robert N. Noyce and Gordon E. Moore to leave Fairchild in order to form Intel Corporation, of which he was the first chairman of the board of directors. Rock concludes the interview by reflecting on his own innovations.
|1948||Syracuse University||BS||Finance and Political Science|
Vick Chemical Company
Wertheim and Company
Hayden, Stone, & Company
Davis & Rock
Teledyne Technologies, Inc.
Scientific Data Systems, Inc.
Arthur Rock and Company
Apple Computer, Inc.
Medal of Achievement, American Electronics Association and the American Academy of Achievement
California Business Hall of Fame
Arents Pioneer Medal, Syracuse University
Lifetime Achievement in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Award, University of California
Private Equity Hall of Fame
Visionary Award, Software Development Forum
Business Leader of the Year, Harvard Business School Association of Northern California
Table of Contents
Family background. Attending Syracuse University after World War II. Work at Vick Chemical Company. Enrolling in Harvard Business School. Motivation and interests throughout schooling. Work in the corporate department of Hayden Stone and Company. Receipt of letter from Eugene Kleiner leading to meeting with the "Treacherous Eight" and the creation of Fairchild Semiconductor.
Moving from New York to California. The innovative formation and implications of Davis & Rock during the 1960s. Creation of Teledyne and key people in that company. The growing connection between semiconductors and computers. Inclusion of members of the "Treacherous Eight" in Davis & Rock.
Robert Noyce's decision to leave Fairchild Camera and Instrument. Overview of the formation of Intel. Strategy and detail on raising the capital necessary for the company. Position as first chairman of the board and the primary concerns of a pioneering company. The decision against manufacturing computers.
Involvement with other semiconductor and computer firms through the 1970s and 1980s. The shifting yet effective governing structure of Intel. New venture capital competition and the growing field. Comments on "Rock's Law. " Relationship with Gordon Moore. Reflection on business innovations.
About the Interviewer
David C. Brock is a senior research fellow with the Center for Contemporary History and Policy at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. As a historian of science and technology, he specializes in the history of semiconductor science, technology, and industry; the history of instrumentation; and oral history. Brock has studied the philosophy, sociology, and history of science at Brown University, the University of Edinburgh, and Princeton University.
In the policy arena Brock recently published Patterning the World: The Rise of Chemically Amplified Photoresists, a white-paper case study for the Center’s Studies in Materials Innovation. With Hyungsub Choi he is preparing an analysis of semiconductor technology roadmapping, having presented preliminary results at the 2009 meeting of the Industry Studies Association.