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With His Extensive Experience, Professor Woo Chai-Wei Helps Direct Lenovo!

In the business world, there is no substitute for experience.  The established companies in the tech sector that have the staying power in the market invariably have management that is mature, guided by a wide range of experienced personnel.  Some of the most successful Boards of Directors make a point of including Directors whose perspective promotes creativity or alternative perspectives from those of other senior managers.  For Lenovo, the Board of Directors includes the wise voice of experience that comes from Professor Woo Chai-Wei.

Woo Chai-Wei is a Chinese national who was born in Shanghai in 1937.  While he was primarily educated in China – Hong Kong – Woo Chai-Wei immigrated to the United States in 1955.  At Georgetown College, Woo earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Physics/Mathematics.  From Kentucky, Woo Chai-Wei went to St. Louis and Washington University.  There, he studied Physics, earning both his Masters and Ph.D.  Woo quickly established himself as one of the world’s predominant expert in applied physics.

Woo’s expertise made him highly sought-after in academia.  After earning his Ph.D. in Physics, Woo Chai-Wei went to Illinois to teach.  Educating young minds at both Northwestern University and the University Of Illinois, Woo Chai-Wei’s life slowly diverged from both physics and education to management.  During his tenure at Northwestern, Woo took on the role of Chairman of the Physics and Astronomy Department.  When his prestige helped to elevate the Physics and Astronomy Department of Northwestern, Woo Chai-Wei drew the attention of other educational institutions.

Revelle College at San Diego’s branch of the University of California successfully lured Woo Chai-Wei away from the American Midwest.  As Provost of Revelle College, Woo successfully managed a major university.  Despite publishing pretty prodigiously in physics journals in the years since he earned his Ph.D., Woo Chai-Wei was now sought after as manager.  In 1983, Woo’s management expertise made him the first Chinese American to head a major U.S. university when San Francisco State University hired him as its president.

Woo Chai-Wei returned to China in 1991 to serve as the founding President of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.  In addition to raising funding for the University, Woo’s presence at the head of the institution encouraged many great minds in Physics to come to work at the school.  Following the initial success of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Woo expanded the institution by opening the Business School, which consistently ranks as one of the world’s best.

Despite retiring in 2001 from most of his positions, Woo Chai-Wei’s knowledge and experience made him invaluable to many businesses in the tech sector.  In 1999, Lenovo successfully lured Woo to serve on their board.  In his tenure as a non-executive Director, Lenovo has grown to become one of the most successful, most reliable, computer manufacturers in the world.  The production of such quality products is not the result of happenstance; it is the result of guidance from an experienced manager: Woo Chai-Wei!


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