Gordon co-founded Intel in 1968, serving initially as executive vice president. He became president and chief executive officer in 1975 and held that post until elected chairman and chief executive officer in 1979. He remained CEO until 1987 and was named chairman emeritus in 1997, stepping down in 2006.
Gordon is widely known for “Moore's Law,” which in 1965 he predicted that the number of components the industry would be able to place on a computer chip would double every year. In 1975, he updated his prediction to once every two years. Because of changing technology, the industry now states approximately every 18 months. “Moore’s Law” has become the guiding principle for the industry to deliver ever-more powerful semiconductor chips at proportionate decreases in cost. In practical terms, what this means is faster, cheaper chips with more functionality that allows everything from a laptop computer, cell phones, GPS, cleaner car emissions/skid control/antilock brakes, and digital cameras, to medical devices that non-invasively see inside the body, and literally hundreds of thousands of other uses.
Gordon earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in chemistry and physics from the California Institute of Technology. He was born in San Francisco, California, on January 3, 1929.
Gordon received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, from George W. Bush in 2002. He received the National Medal of Technology from President George H. W. Bush in 1990. He is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He served as chairman of the board of trustees of the California Institute of Technology from 1995 until the beginning of 2001 and continues now as a Life Trustee.