Tom Yuen was on dialysis for 42 years, and I’m unhappy to be taught that the serial entrepreneur who cofounded AST Analysis handed away at age 70 on February 13. However I’m glad to know that he beat the chances on his kidney illness for much longer than docs anticipated.
I met Yuen and the AST Analysis cofounders again within the Nineteen Nineties once I labored on the Los Angeles Instances in Orange County, California. I wrote a profile about why he was so pushed again in 1992.
Yuen was born in Hong Kong and he immigrated to the U.S. in 1970.
Yuen informed me again then that he married a Japanese lady. And that was controversial for his Chinese language household again in these days. He felt some strain to achieve success. Then, in 1973, he was identified with a kidney illness and was informed therapy would value $15,000 a 12 months. As an engineer at Hughes Plane, he was making $12,000 a 12 months on the time.
Yuen was laid off from that job in 1974, and he seemed via the photographs of a company annual report and noticed principally white males within the government ranks. He determined that he must begin his personal firm to get forward and turn into financially profitable with the intention to save his personal life and handle his household. (He’s survived by his spouse Misako and their kids Jennifer and Constance.
Yuen began AST Analysis in 1979 with Albert Wong and Safi Qureshey — an act that broke the glass ceiling. In 1980, Yuen’s kidneys failed and he discovered he can be on dialysis for the remainder of his life. That despatched him into overdrive.
The trio of founders had a Three Musketeers ethos, and the title of the corporate was based mostly on their first-name initials. They created the corporate simply forward of the daybreak of the PC period as IBM launched its PC and opened the door for clone producers to make DOS-based computer systems. AST began out making parts and finally made its personal PCs.
The corporate went public in 1984 and it grew to 1000’s of workers and billions in gross sales. It grew to become a Fortune 500 firm and helped put Orange Depend on the map for tech business prowess. Yuen left the corporate in 1992.
AST was acquired by Samsung in 1997 and finally shut down in 1999. Yuen additionally bought the 3D audio agency SRS labs in 1993 and purchased PrimeGen Biotech, a stem cell analysis and improvement agency, in 2002. He additionally grew to become a prolific and beneficiant donor in Orange County.
“Although he was sick for greater than 40 years, the unbelievable help of his spouse and dedication to supply his kids one of the best life potential drove Tom to dwell a rare life. In enterprise, he was sensible, targeted, a little bit of a threat taker and finally very profitable. In life he was caring, compassionate, and had an unyielding need to assist individuals,” stated Wai Szeto, enterprise affiliate and shut pal of Yuen for 40 years, in an announcement.
A memorial service for Tom Yuen will likely be held March 12, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time in Costa Mesa, California. Please RSVP by contacting Stacy Pham at [email protected].
Make a Donation
To commemorate Yuen’s ardour for philanthropy, the household has requested that as an alternative of sending flowers, family and friends donate to 2 causes he was really captivated with:
· Help Stem Cell and Kidney Illness Analysis and UC Irvine – https://safe.give.uci.edu/ThomasYuenMemorialGifts
· Help Windfall Speech and Listening to Middle (affiliate of CHOC Well being) – https://raiseup.choc.org/honor/TomYuen
Yuen’s affect had a legacy in tech. In 1986, AST acquired a small reminiscence producer known as Camintonn, whose principals David Solar and John Tu went on to kind Kingston Know-how.
“Earlier than AST, Tom and I had been faculty roommates, and it was clear even again then that he was a real visionary. He had a knack for dreaming up large concepts and enhancing upon present concepts in ways in which had been merely fascinating. Whereas a number of the revolutionary issues he would suggest to create sounded inconceivable to develop, he had a charismatic strategy that impressed and motivated engineers like me to deliver his concepts to life,” stated Wong, cofounder of AST Analysis, in an announcement.
“Creating wealth was by no means a major driver for Tom, as an alternative, he was extra serious about taking up vital challenges, studying from them, and seeing if the market would reward the fruits of our labor,” stated Qureshey, cofounder of AST, in an announcement. “After his power kidney illness analysis, Tom by no means slowed down, he simply tailored. He was courageous to cope with all the things he had occurring, but he additionally managed to take care of a optimistic angle and an uncanny need to succeed.”
Amongst his accolades, he earned a TechAmerica Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 and the UCI Alumni Affiliation’s Extraordinarius Award in 2014.
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