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CEO Profile: Jen-Hsun Huang

Early Life and upbringing

Jen-Hsun Huang was born on February 17th 1963 in Taipei Taiwan. Though today Huang credits much of the influence in his upbringing to his start in American as a boy attending the Oneida Baptist School in Kentucky. Though only a teen in Baptist School Huang began to show surprisingly mature behaviors, which one could assume are the predecessor to his tireless work ethic. In an interview with wired.com Huang admits to compulsively scrubbing every toilet in the 3 story dormitory he lived in, and teaching his illiterate, misguided roommate how to read.

Only a teen he found himself passionate about table tennis and befriended a vending machine operator who took him under his wing. Being the highly motivated, passionate individual that Huang is he quickly threw himself in to his passion and excelled to a level one could assume most would not have expected. At 14 he was designated as a table tennis master and had his first publicity in Sports Illustrated Magazine. He even went on to compete at the U.S. Open table tennis tournament where he placed third in the junior doubles division. His appetite for success early on sheds light on the journey Huang has taken part in to be where he is today.

Huang graduated High School in Portland Oregon at Aloha High and soon after began his undergraduate education at Oregon State University. Majoring in electrical engineering, Huang proved himself academically time and time again, being accepted in to the electrical engineering program at Stanford University in California. Having received his bachelor’s degree from Oregon State in 1984, and later his Master’s in 1992, Huang was ready and well equipped to take over the graphics space in a booming consumer electronics industry.

Early Work

i.imgur.com_3hipdyz.jpg Huang’s first relevant work experience was with LSI Logic Corporation. From 1985 to 1993 he held different positions within the coreware business unit. Most notably he held the position of Director of Coreware, overlooking LSI’s system-on-chip strategy. In addition to his contributions to Coreware he held a position as a microprocessor designer for Advanced Micro Devices from 1983 to 1985. One can assume his experience with AMD is what has driven much of his major success today, and guided him on the path to being the innovator and superior leader he is today.

Recent Endeavors

i.imgur.com_m7owfmh.jpg After gaining invaluable experience overseeing AMD and building upon the knowledge gained from his extensive education Huang proceeded to Co-Found NVIDIA in 1993. Known for it’s industry leading innovation, NVIDIA is now one of the largest suppliers of hardware related to visual competing. NVIDIA is credited with inventing not only the term GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) but also for setting the standard for GPU’s as we know them today. Wired.com goes as far as to say “NVIDIA's expertise in programmable GPUs has led to breakthroughs in parallel processing that make supercomputing inexpensive and widely accessible”. Which comes as no surprise following the mention of NVIDIA’s extraordinary success for innovation, wired.com says ” The company holds more than 6,400 patents granted or pending, including ones covering designs and insights fundamental to modern computing. Huang has held the titles of President, CEO, and Board Member since it’s inception and still holds each title today. He is compensated heavily in Company stock offerings and stock options. In 2008 Forbes recognized Huang as the 61st highest compensated CEO in the U.S. for earning $24.6 million in compensation in 2007. Last year Huang was able to pocket a total compensation of approximately $5.5 million, $3.3 million of which were in exercisable stock options. As of 2014 Huang owns an impressive stake in NVIDIA holding 609,609 shares. It’s exciting to see CEO’s that follow this type of compensation plan, we can assume that with a large stake in the company Huang has strong incentive to continue to pursue growth and opportunity for NVIDIA.

Huang’s efforts within NVIDIA have led to extraordinary success in the GPU space and have made Visual Computing noticeably cheaper to the average consumer by constantly raising the bar on standard computing power and ramping up production in large scale. Several of the years NVIDIA has been in business the company has seen growth 100% over. To illustrate the successful leadership Huang provides it’s important to note certain achievements, such as NVIDIA’s ability to generate healthy profits when many of it’s competitors have lost money year after year.

Huang proves himself to be capable of running a profitable business which has led him in to various other Affiliations. He continues to give back to his early education as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, in addition to his affiliation with Oregon State University. He is affiliated also with the RAND Coporation, IT-Farm Corporation, and the Semiconductor Industry where he provides insight in to the future of graphics and maintains healthy leverage for his business in the industry.

Awards and Recognition

Huang has received recognition his whole life for outstanding performance in a wide variety of skills. Excluding his recognition as a young adult in table tennis, he is a recipient of the following awards and recognitions:

  • In 1999, Jen-Hsun Huang was named Entrepreneur of the Year in High Technology by Ernst and Young LLP.
  • 2003 Huang received the Dr. Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award, being recognized as a leader who has made extraordinary contribution to innovation, growth, and development.
  • 2007 he received the Pioneer Business Leader Award from Silicon Valley Education Foundation for his work in the corporate and philanthropic spaces.
  • Received the Daniel J. Epstein Engineering Management Award from the University of Southern California
  • 2009 Huang was awarded an honorary doctorate from Oregon State University while speaking at the June 13, 2009 commencement ceremony and is named as an Alumni Fellow of the University.
  • After being established in 2012 Huang inducted in to the U.S. Immigrant Entrepreneur Hall of Fame

Signs of Good Character

Not only does Huang prove himself as a brilliant mind in business and innovation, but he has given back generously to the communities that helped him achieve his current day success. One of the largest and most recognized being the $30 million contribution to Stanford which led to the creation of the Jen-Hsun Huang School of Engineering Center.

Final Thoughts

Jen-Hsun Huang is an exceptionally successful innovator, leader, and businessman. With a decorated resume and strong evidence of his exceptional leadership, it’s safe to say that NVIDIA is in good hands. It’s important not to underestimate the significance of Huang’s remarkable stake in his business today. In my humble opinion Huang will have no trouble creating steady growth for NVIDIA and any other future endeavors he may embark on. I’m confident that he will continue to disrupt the visual computing industry and help to maintain and improve upon the accessibility and affordability of graphics computing.

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