Arthur Rock
Arthur Rock in January 2003
Born (1926-08-19) August 19, 1926 (age 97)
Alma materSyracuse University (BA, 1948)
Harvard University (MBA, 1951)
OccupationVenture capitalist
Known forEarly investor in Intel and Apple Computer
SpouseToni Rembe

Arthur Rock (born August 19, 1926) is an American businessman and investor. Based in Silicon Valley, California, he was an early investor in major firms including Intel, Apple, Scientific Data Systems and Teledyne.[1]

Early life

Rock was born and raised in Rochester, New York, in a Jewish family.[2][3][4] He was an only child and his father owned a small candy store where Rock worked in his youth.[4] He joined the U.S. Army during World War II but the war ended before he was deployed.[4] He then went to college on the G.I. Bill.[4] He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in business administration from Syracuse University in 1948 and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1951.[5]


Rock started his career in 1951 as a securities analyst in New York City, and then joined the corporate finance department of Hayden, Stone & Company in New York, where he focused on raising money for small high-technology companies.[6] In 1957, when the "traitorous eight" left Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, Rock was the one who helped them find a place to go: he convinced Sherman Fairchild to start Fairchild Semiconductor.[7]

In 1961, he moved to California. Along with Thomas J. Davis Jr., he formed the San Francisco venture capital firm Davis & Rock.[8]

In 1968, Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, and another Fairchild employee named Andy Grove, were ready to start a new company, Intel. Noyce contacted his good friend Rock, with whom he used to hike and camp. Rock described how Intel started.

"Bob (Noyce) just called me on the phone. We'd been friends for a long time.… Documents? There was practically nothing. Noyce's reputation was good enough. We put out a page-and-a-half little circular, but I'd raised the money even before people saw it."[9]

Intel was incorporated in Mountain View, California, on July 18, 1968, by Gordon E. Moore (known for "Moore's law"), a chemist, Robert Noyce, a physicist and co-inventor of the integrated circuit. There were originally 500,000 shares outstanding of which Dr. Noyce bought 245,000 shares, Dr. Moore 245,000 shares, and Mr. Rock 10,000 shares; all at $1 per share. Rock raised $2.5 million of convertible debentures to a limited group of private investors in one day.[10] Rock became Intel's first chairman.[11]

In 1978, Mike Markulla of Apple Computer hooked up Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak with Rock. Rock bought 640,000 shares of Apple Computer and became a long-time director of the company.[10]

Rock's investments and personal guidance helped launch and govern a distinguished roster of corporate firms including Intel, Apple, Scientific Data Systems, Teledyne, Xerox, Argonaut Insurance, AirTouch, the Nasdaq Stock Market, and Echelon Corporation.[12]

Venture capital

Main article: Venture capital

During the 1950s, putting a venture capital deal together may have required the help of two or three other organizations to complete the transaction. It was a business that was growing very rapidly, and as the business grew, the transactions grew exponentially. Arthur Rock, one of the pioneers of Silicon Valley during his venturing the Fairchild Semiconductor is often credited with the introduction of the term "venture capitalist" that has since become widely accepted.[10][12]

Rock's law

See also: Rock's law

Rock's law or Moore's second law, named for Arthur Rock and Gordon Moore, respectively, says that the cost of a semiconductor chip fabrication plant doubles every four years.[citation needed] As of 2023, the price had already reached about 20 billion US dollars.[13]

Rock's law can be seen as the economic flip side to Moore's (first) law – that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles every two years. The latter is a direct consequence of the ongoing growth of the capital-intensive semiconductor industry— innovative and popular products mean more profits, meaning more capital available to invest in ever higher levels of large-scale integration, which in turn leads to the creation of even more innovative products.


In 2003, Rock donated $25 million to the Harvard Business School to establish the Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship.[6] He and his wife Toni founded the Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University. Mr. Rock was co-founder and past president of The Basic Fund which gives scholarships to inner city children to attend K-8 private schools. He is also on the board of Teach for America and Children's Scholarship Fund and an active funder of KIPP[14]

Rock has donated to many political causes, especially in the area of education. He has donated to more than 30 school board elections across the country. Recently, in 2021, he donated over $500,000 to the 2022 San Francisco Board of Education recall elections.[15]


Personal life

He is married to lawyer Toni Rembe.[19] Together with his wife, Rock has been a supporter of Teach For America. The organization's annual Social Innovation Award is named in their honor.[20]

Rock was portrayed by actor J. K. Simmons in the 2013 biographical drama Jobs.

See also


  1. ^ "Arthur Rock (MBA '51) - Alumni - Harvard Business School". December 1997. Archived from the original on 2019-04-12. Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  2. ^ "Among America's Mega- Donors, Many Jews, but Few Gifts to Jews". Jewish Telegraph Agency. February 24, 2004. Archived from the original on July 5, 2018.
  3. ^ Video on YouTube
  4. ^ a b c d Harvard Business School: "ARTHUR ROCK" retrieved October 8, 2015 Archived September 24, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Interview with Rob Walker Archived 2003-08-11 at the Wayback Machine on November 12, 2002 as part of The Silicon Genesis Project Archived 2004-11-22 at the Wayback Machine with Stanford University
  6. ^ a b "Harvard Business School Receives $25 Million from Venture Capitalist Arthur Rock" (Press release). Harvard Business School. 2003-01-31. Archived from the original on 17 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-07.
  7. ^ "Arthur Rock". HBS Bulletin Online. Archived from the original on 3 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-07.
  8. ^ "Arthur Rock: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek". Archived from the original on 4 June 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  9. ^ "Arthur Rock |". Retrieved 2023-06-03.
  10. ^ a b c "Arthur Rock |". Retrieved 2023-06-02.
  11. ^ Deffree, Suzanne (July 18, 2019). "Intel is founded, July 18, 1968".
  12. ^ a b School, Stanford Law (2023-01-05). "Legal Matters: Arthur Rock on the Early Venture Capital Decisions That Sparked Decades of Innovation". Stanford Law School. Retrieved 2023-06-02.
  13. ^ Bobrowsky, Meghan. "Intel to Invest at Least $20 Billion in Ohio Chip-Making Facility". WSJ. Retrieved 2023-05-09.
  14. ^ School, Stanford Law. "Advisory Board". Stanford Law School. Retrieved 2023-06-02.
  15. ^ "Who is Arthur Rock, the school board recall's biggest backer?". 9 February 2022. Archived from the original on 2022-03-10. Retrieved 2022-03-11.
  16. ^ a b c David C. Brock, David C. Brock (2002-10-09). "Oral history interview with Arthur Rock". Archived from the original on 2022-11-30.
  17. ^ "Arents Award". Retrieved 2023-06-02.
  18. ^ "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". American Academy of Achievement.
  19. ^ "Stanford Launches the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance" (Press release). Business Wire. 6 March 2006. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  20. ^ "The Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Social Innovation Award". Teach For America. Archived from the original on 2020-02-06. Retrieved 2020-02-06.