Digital Collections

Oral history interview with Leslie L. Vadasz

  • 2005-Mar-15
  • 2005-Apr-19
  • 2005-Jun-07

Oral history interview with Leslie L. Vadasz

  • 2005-Mar-15
  • 2005-Apr-19
  • 2005-Jun-07

Leslie L. Vadasz begins the first interview by describing his childhood in Budapest during World War II. Vadasz developed an early interest in mathematics and literature, and began an undergraduate mechanical engineering program before continuing in solid state physics at McGill University in Montreal. Vadasz worked on metal oxide semiconductor transistors at Transitron Corporation before joining Fairchild Semiconductor, where he helped develop the silicon gate process. In the second interview, Vadasz details the early efforts to produce memory devices at Intel Corporation, including erasable programmable read-only memory. Vadasz continues with the transition of Intel Corporation into a divisionalized structure and international extensions, at which time he became Vice President. Vadasz recounts his role as general manager of the microcomputer components division and its interactions with the semiconductor industry in the third interview. Vadasz began serving on the Board of Directors in 1988 and describes its place in assisting Intel management. He also explains the foundation of Intel Capital. Vadasz concludes the interview with remarks on the importance of technical knowledge in both developmental and managerial work.

Property Value
Place of interview
  • 122 pages
  • 7 h 53 m
Rights Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute
Digitization funder
  • Audio synchronization made possible through the generous funding of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

About the Interviewers

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.

Christophe Lécuyer is a graduate of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, and he received a PhD in history from Stanford University. He was a fellow of the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology and has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and the University of Virginia. Before becoming a senior research fellow at CHF, Lécuyer was the program manager of the electronic materials department. He has published widely on the history of electronics, engineering education, and medical and scientific instruments, and is the author of Making Silicon Valley: Innovation and the Growth of High Tech, 1930–1970 (2005).

Institutional location

Oral history number 0311
Physical container
  • Shelfmark QD22.V33379 A5 2005

Related Items

Interviewee biographical information

  • September 12, 1936
  • Budapest, Hungary


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1961 McGill University BSEE Electrical Engineering
1990 Harvard Business School AMP

Professional Experience

Transitron Corporation

  • 1961 to 1964 Technical Staff, Research and Development

Fairchild (Firm)

  • 1964 to 1968 Technical Staff, Research and Development

Intel Corporation

  • 1968 to 1972 Technical Staff, Research and Development
  • 1972 to 1975 Director, Engineering
  • 1975 to 1979 Vice President
  • 1976 to 1977 Assistant General Manager, Microcomputer Components Division
  • 1977 to 1979 General Manager, Microcomputer Components Division
  • 1979 to 1991 Senior Vice President
  • 1979 to 1991 Director, Corporate Strategic Staff
  • 1986 to 2002 General Manager, Systems Group
  • 1988 to 2002 Member, Board of Directors
  • 1991 to 2003 Executive Vice President
  • 2002 Director Emeritus, Board of Directors

Intel Capital

  • 1991 to 2003 President

Harvard Business School

  • 1991 Lecturer, System Group
  • 2003 Lecturer, Internet Law Program

ZettaCore Inc.

  • 2003 Member, Board of Directors


Year(s) Award
1977 Elected Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
1991 to 1996 Member, National Research Council Computer Science and Telecommunications Board
1997 to 2002 Member, Presidential Advisory Committee for Information Technology

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PDF — 852 KB

The published version of the transcript may diverge from the interview audio due to edits to the transcript made by staff of the Center for Oral History, often at the request of the interviewee, during the transcript review process.

Complete Interview Audio File Web-quality download

12 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads