Noyce is dubbed “The Mayor of Silicon Valley,” as he and Jack Kilby were credited for the invention of integrated circuit, or microchip, which started the revolution in the personal computer sector, and gave Silicon Valley its name.
His first job after he graduated from MIT was at Philco Corporation, but after three years he left for Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory. Things weren’t going so well for him and some of his colleagues, because of issues regarding the management style in Shockley. So in just under a year, he, along with seven others, formed the Traitorous Eight, leaving Shockley to form a new company called Fairchild Semiconductor. In 1968, Noyce and Gordon E. Moore left Fairchild to build Intel.
According to Arthur Rock, the chairman of Intel’s board and a major investor in the company, “that for Intel to succeed, it needed Noyce, Moore and Andrew Grove. And it needed them in that order. Noyce: the visionary, born to inspire; Moore: the virtuoso of technology; and Grove: the technologist turned management scientist.”
Noyce set the tone for many of Silicon Valley CEOs. He wasn’t the type to go and exploit the perks that comes with the title. He was laid back, had the ‘follow-your-bliss’ management style, and opted for a less-structured, relaxed working environment in which everyone contributed and no one benefited from lavish perquisites, making do without the fancy corporate cars, reserved parking spaces, private jets, offices, and furnishings.
Aside from being credited for the microchip, Noyce was also credited for the invention of the microprocessor as he oversaw Ted Hoff‘s work on the technology.