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Biography of Mr. Wen Chi Chen

Tuesday, December 18, 2001 MR. WEN CHI CHEN,

Mr. Wen Chi Chen : The future king of global IC industry

"In the final two years of the last century, when Intel was firmly occupying the chipset market, there came a stranger into the industry. He challenged the formerly undisputed global position of Intel. This stranger is the new "Jewel of Taiwanese Technology", Mr. Wen Chi Chen. Under his leadership, VIA Technologies became a significant voice in the IC industry."

Putting his job before love life

Eight years ago, in the Taiwan Who''s-Who of electronics, we could not find the name Wen Chi Chen. Instead, we only found Morris Chang, Xing Cheng Cao, both were prominent members of the Hall of Frame. They were much older in age and experience. In comparison, Chen can be categorized as a green hand. However, with his unfailing enthusiasm, Chen had carved out a position in the Taiwan IT market.

Back in 1992, Wen Chi Chen unveiled his talent in Silicon Valley as a department manager in computer architecture design for Intel. His work was well appreciated by the computer industry, then. At the same time, Xue Hong Wang, daughter of Yong Qing Wang, president and CEO of Taiwan Plastic and Chemical, saw the potential of IT industry and wanted to get in. She invited Wen Chi Chen to join her. Chen, taking that as a great opportunity, accepted the challenge. Under the strong support of She Hon Wang, VIA Technologies was founded. At time, Chen was only 36 years old.

During the early 1990''s, Taiwan became the base for PC motherboard production making 70% of the motherboards worldwide. Wen Chi Chen, with his many years of experience in ASIC design with Intel, could say that he understand the global IT markets like the palm of his hand. Chen decided that VIA Technologies should be headquartered in Taiwan, his wonderful homeland. As we look back today, this decision was a perfect foresight. That not only allows them to synchronize with the motherboard product cycle, but also fulfills the rapid technological advancement of the IC industry.

Wen Chi Chen was in charge of new products R&D. It gave him the opportunity to gain many credits. It was like a fish being put into water. The company not only provided financial and technological support, it also provided the best working team. The Chairwoman of the board was Xue Hong Wang, who has many years in managing FIC Computers. Vice president, Zi Mu Lin, engineering manager Jin Lai and VIA''s high level management consisted of all respectable names of domestic and international R and D talents. Out of its general staff, 70% were R&D personnel. They were all specialists in either development or business. Their strength was a popular talk-of-the-time.

Those who know Wen Chi well all admire his unselfish entrepreneur spirit. In his career path, he is firm and stubborn. He does not deviate from his target. In the Taiwan IT industry, Chen was counted as the outstanding successful man. On the contrary, he does not have a female behind him. His friends call him "Golden Bachelor". He replies with humor "God will arrange the right woman for me." Without a woman behind him, his life runs into "sloppiness". His wardrobe is often improper. Straightly speaking, he is not putting his mind on his wardrobe. He is often seen wearing an oversize coat on top of his T-shirt. It happened so often that it became his trademark. It''s unimaginable that a world renounce IC design executive would not know how to keep his external image in the public eye. The only thing we can say is that the worldly standard has no meaningful value to him. His career is the only thing he loves.

Wen Chi Chen loves his job more than anybody else. He has molded VIA into the top class IC manufacturing company. Naturally, he is challenging the position of Intel.

Today, 44 years old Wen Chi Chen, should be among the rank of top value Taiwanese, yet, he does not own a car, a house, or a wife. In his mind, his only concern is VIA''s today and tomorrow.

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By: Johnson Wang
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