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A teenager who grew up in the countryside of Pennsylvania, working in their family farm skipped his last year of high school and took a trade school test on an impulse which turned out to be a life changing incident for him. Little did he knew then that it was the first step towards building an amazing career. Having befriended hard work quite early in his life, he has reached up to being the CEO of VMware, a billion dollar Silicon Valley Technology Company now.

Patrick P Gelsinger, popularly known as Pat Gelsinger was with Intel Corp for three decades. He then worked for EMC as its President before becoming the CEO of Palo Alto-based VMware. One of the top paid CEOs of the tech industry, this passionate technologist has received numerous Intel and industry recognition awards. Being the part of executive management teams for global information technology companies, he comes with extensive experience in general management, technical and product development positions. This IT veteran holds seven patents in the areas of VLSI design, computer architecture and communications has almost two dozens of publications in his name.

Education and early career...

Intel caught him young, when he was all of 18, while interviewing the top grads from this technical college. He was doing his associate degree course from Lincoln Technical Institute in Pennsylvania when Intel hired him as their technician in quality assurance. Well.. Not everybody gets recruited to a Silicon Valley company even without an under grad degree. He did not stop there. It was just the beginning. Pat wanted to be “the engineer who decided what to do, not the technician who did the grunt work." He loved the idea of working in a clean office without having to worry about being kicked by cows and horses. He worked substantially overtime that HR division had to raise a complain. With a full time job in hand, he used Intel’s college tuition reimbursement program and completed his under graduation in Electrical engineering from Santa Clara University simultaneously in flying colours. He then joined Stanford and pursued his masters in electrical engineering and computer science, all the while holding on to his job. Though he wanted to do Ph.D, life happened. In the initial ten years of his career, he was so fond of his work that he found rest and relaxation a waste of time and hardly took any vacations. Later, he re-prioritised and made it a point to take vacations and spend time with family too.

Taking giant leaps with Intel...

By the late 1980s, he had risen to the position of chief architect of Intel's 486 processor, the globally dominant chip in personal computers and laptops and led Intel to be the dominant supplier of the microprocessor. Prior to that, Pat led Intel's Desktop Products Group and was responsible for desktop processors, chipsets and motherboards for consumer and commercial customers. When he was appointed as the Vice President of Intel at the age of 31, he was the youngest Vice President of the company. In 2000, he also became the first ever Chief Technology Officer of Intel Corp. As CTO of Intel he invented the conference "Intel Developer Forum" as "WinHEC" is to Microsoft and led the creation of key industry technologies including USB and Wi-Fi. Pat advanced quickly through various technical, management and senior executive positions such as Senior Vice President and Co-General Manager of Intel Corporation's Digital Enterprise Group, as Intel's Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.

Pat spent 30 years of his career with Intel. He made generous contributions to the growth of the company while working on the 8088, the 80186, and 80286 processors, by being one of the critical engineers on the 80386 and being the architect and design manager on the 80486 which provided the processing power needed for the personal computer revolution through the 1980s into the 1990s. Since then, he spearheaded almost every Intel processor, say, 486DX2, Pentium, PentiumPro, Pentium II, III, IV, Nehalem, etc. He has been in the forefront for many research initiatives of the company.

In September 2009, Pat Gelsinger left Intel to join EMC.

As President and COO of EMC...

Pat joined the computer storage giant, EMC in September 2009 as its President and COO of EMC’s Information Infrastructure Products business, and moved to Boston overseeing engineering and operations for information storage, data computing, backup and recovery, RSA security and enterprise solutions.

Back to Silicon Valley with VMware...

Exactly three years after moving to Boston, he left his job with EMC and joined one of the top five software companies in the world, VMware as it's CEO. He led the company to seize opportunities created by new computing paradigms. He shepherded the company in its expansion from its core strength in virtualization to become a recognized global leader in cloud infrastructure, enterprise mobility and cyber security. VMware has accelerated his revenue to two times during his tenure by helping customers accelerate their digital transformation journeys. VMware has over 500,000 customers and 75,000 partners worldwide.

The company continues to receive recognition as a great place to work. For the third year in a row, it was recognised as one of the 2017 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work and for the fourth year in a row, as one among the 100 Best Places to Work in IT.

When not in CEO's shoes...

A strong follower of Christ, Pat has authored two books on having a great family, a successful career and staying close to God - Balancing your Family, Faith & Work and The Juggling Act: Bringing Balance to Faith, Family, and Work published in 2003 and 2008 respectively. He has also co-authored the book Programming the 80386 with John H. Crawford. He speaks frequently on faith, work, technology trends and philanthropy. He developed this habit of reading Bible first before picking his newspaper, which is the businessman's Bible, when he was working in Intel and has stuck to it ever since.

Pat is married to Linda and has four grown children. He balances the priorities of the tech world, his relationship with the Lord and his family running his life strictly by his faith and leads a contented life.

Philanthropy and faith...

Pat gives away fifty percentages of his earnings to charity. As a committed Christian, most of them involve the church such as establishing a Christian university in Sacramento area, setting up churches across the globe, supporting Christian oriented medical teams, educational work and an orphanage the he and Linda helped build in Nairobi etc. He is an active member of the Christian community serving organisation called Transforming the Bay with Christ. Driven by utmost faith, he led a weekly home Bible study for 16 years and served as a Sunday school teacher. There was time when he even thought of being a minister, but later realised that workplace is the ministry.

A word to the new entrepreneurs...

• Innovate like a start up, deliver like an enterprise

• Taking risks = lowering risks

• Knock it out of the park and be distinguished in what you do

• Prepare yourself for the next job you want

Awards and recognitions...

Named as a fellow of IEEE in 2008
Awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters in 2008 from William Jessup University.


If you asked ten people if they want to improve themselves, eight will say yes. But only two will follow through. Which means a majority of people--60% of us--lack the know-how, energy or discipline to move forward. If you really want to move forward, the answer seems obvious: Find a purpose, set goals, stay healthy and seek mentors who will hold you accountable.
When you become the CEO you're managing all disciplines, whether it's legal, whether it's finance, whether it's operations, whether it's sales. So you almost always show up with inadequacies in your vitae of the areas that you don't have firsthand experience in.
The career advice I've given to people is number one, do a great job in whatever role you're in, and number two prepare yourself for the next role you want to be in.
You have to do things to keep broadening you beyond where you are. Keep refreshing you. Because it’s a consuming job. In the CEO job, you should say I want to be in this role for a decade. And are you living at a pace where you can do it for a decade or beyond as well? Some people really need relaxation and beach time.
I recommend you do a detailed time study for yourself to see where you spend your time.

Hope readers caught up the spark …