PC manufacturing pioneer Tom Yuen passes away at 70

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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 after I labored on the Los Angeles Occasions 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 stress to achieve success. Then, in 1973, he was identified with a kidney illness and was informed remedy would value $15,000 a yr. As an engineer at Hughes Plane, he was making $12,000 a yr on the time.

Yuen was laid off from that job in 1974, and he seemed by way of the photographs of a company annual report and noticed largely white males within the govt ranks. He determined that he must begin his personal firm to get forward and change into financially profitable with a purpose to save his personal life and deal with 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 realized he could 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 elements and ultimately 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 Rely on the map for tech trade prowess. Yuen left the corporate in 1992.

AST was acquired by Samsung in 1997 and ultimately shut down in 1999. Yuen additionally bought the 3D audio agency SRS labs in 1993 and purchased PrimeGen Biotech, a stem cell analysis and growth 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 willpower to supply his kids the perfect life attainable drove Tom to reside a unprecedented 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.

Memorial Providers

A memorial service for Tom Yuen can be held March 12, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time in Costa Mesa, California. Please RSVP by contacting Stacy Pham at spham@primegenus.com.

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 actually obsessed with:

·      Help Stem Cell and Kidney Illness Analysis and UC Irvine – https://safe.give.uci.edu/ThomasYuenMemorialGifts

·      Help Windfall Speech and Listening to Heart (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 school roommates, and it was clear even again then that he was a real visionary. He had a knack for dreaming up massive concepts and bettering upon present concepts in ways in which had been merely fascinating. Whereas a few of the modern issues he would suggest to create sounded inconceivable to develop, he had a charismatic method that impressed and motivated engineers like me to convey his concepts to life,” stated Wong, cofounder of AST Analysis, in an announcement.

“Being profitable was by no means a major driver for Tom, as an alternative, he was extra interested by taking over important 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 prognosis, Tom by no means slowed down, he simply tailored. He was courageous to take care of the whole lot he had happening, but he additionally managed to keep up a optimistic perspective 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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