ASIAN AMERICAN CORPORATE SUPERSTARS
10 Asian Americans who have climbed highest
in major American corporations.
ucceeding within a corporate structure takes a different skillset than founding and building your own company. The profiles in this category are specifically focused on Asian Americans who have climbed the ladders of major companies founded by others.
The much larger number of Asian American entrepreneurs who have founded and built impressive companies on their own, some of which are among leaders in their respective industries (e.g. Yahoo's Jerry Yang, Computer Associates's Charles Wang), can be found in our Goldsea 100.
In making our difficult selections from among the dozens who would have done justice to the “corporate superstar” tag, we considered the size and importance of the company, the subject's impact on the company, the subject's status in the industry and ultimate title.
It's noteworthy that our Corporate Superstars category contains a higher percentage of women (30%) and Japanese Americans (30%) than does our Goldsea 100 which is 80% Chinese American and 17% women. The reason? Acculturation and native English fluency play a bigger role in corporate success than in
entrepreneurship where such deficiencies can be offset by sheer determination and hard work. Japanese Americans have the highest rate of acculturation due
to the far smaller numbers of recent immigration. Asian American women have
been more likely to enter the corporate world and less likely to strike out on their own. We also note a markedly lower percentage of corporate superstars working outside the hi-tech fields: 40% compared with only 19% among leading entrepreneurs.
This list will be expanded and adjusted as new Asian American corporate superstars come to our attention.
If extraterrestrials could abduct one human to replicate all of earth's chipmaking technologies, the savvy choice would be Albert Y. C. Yu. He retired in September 2002 from his post as Intel's chief technology boss for all microprocessor R&D after nearly 30 years at the company, much of it as the brain behind its rise to global chipmaking dominance. Yu strategized the creation of six generation of microprocessors, from the 386 all the way to the latest Pentium 4 which has become the world's highest volume chip. He also led the teams that developed the ItaniumT processor family for the business server market.
Yu's status as a Silicon Valley legend keeps his shiny dome ("I'm bald and unique," he has boasted as his primary distinctions.) very much in the spotlight. He sits on prestigious boards at Berkeley, Stanford, Harvard as well as the Tech Museum in San Jose. In addition to nearly three dozen technical works, he authored a Chinese-language best-seller entitled Insider's View of Intel and Creating the Digital Future (The Free Press, 1998).
Albert Y. C. Yu was born in 1941 in Shanghai, China. He came over to the U.S. to study electrical engineering at Cal Tech where he got his B.S. His first paying job was soldering cables for high-energy physics experiments during his sophomore year. He went on to receive a masters and PhD from Stanford before working at Fairchild Semiconductor, the company founded in part by Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce who, in July of 1968, would leave to found Intel. Yu joined the company in 1972.
Yu enjoys tennis, swimming, hiking and fooling around with his PC. His only regret is not having forced his two kids to learn to speak at least one Chinese dialect.
During the past decade Andrea Jung has revitalized the once-moribund Avon name into a brand that's ringing the bells of a new generation of women around the world. In September 2002 Jung became the company's first female chairman of the board, putting her atop an international direct-sales empire with 45,000 employees, 3.9 million independent reps and $6.2 billion in annual sales. For the past decade she has been recognized as one of the most influential women in American business.
The smartest thing Andrea Jung did as a young executive at Bloomingdales in the 1980s was putting herself under the wing of the company's first female vice president. With her mentor's guidance and support Jung climbed quickly up executive ranks. When her mentor was tapped to become I. Magnin's first female CEO, Jung left with her. “I think it's critical that you feel you're working for a person who is committed to advancing your career,” Jung says. “That's why I've gotten where I am today.” Within five years Jung herself was lured away to become Neiman Marcus's executive vice president of fashion. But marketing to an older, affluent clientele, she soon discovered, didn't demand her best creative energies. In May of 1993 she began doing some consulting work for Avon and was impressed by the high concentration of women in its senior management. The following January she accepted Avon's offer to come aboard as president of its product marketing group. The savvy and energy she brought was recognized, and in 1996 she was promoted to president of global marketing. The company was eager to hand over as much responsibility as possible. In 1997 she was promoted to Executive Vice President of the entire company as well as head of global marketing and new business. She became CEO in 1999.
Andrea Jung was born in Toronto, Canada in 1958. Her father was an MIT architecture professor. Her mother was a chemical engineer who later became a concert pianist. Andrea graduated magna cum laude from Princeton in 1979 with a degree in English literature and is fluent in Mandarin, speaks conversational Cantonese as well as passable French. She is married to Michael Gould, chairman of Bloomingdales since 1991. They have a teenage daughter. Jung's mother was an accomplished pianist and June took piano lessons well into her late-30s. She enjoys playing Mozart and Beethoven though is rarely able to find the time.
“If extraterrestrials could abduct one human to replicate all of earth's chipmaking technologies, the savvy choice would be Albert Y. C. Yu. ”