TAIPEI–Peter Chou, CEO of Taiwanese smart phone maker HTC Corp., was awarded an honorary doctoral degree in engineering by a Taiwan university Saturday for his innovation and entrepreneurship.
National Taiwan Ocean University (NTOU) presented the degree to Chou, an alumnus, at its 58th anniversary celebrations.
Chou studied at NTOU after he came to Taiwan from Myanmar and worked as an engineer for two years, according to an NTOU statement.
The 55-year-old hailed the close bonds between the school’s teachers and students, which he said had benefited him.
“I never worry about how much money our company makes,” he said. “What we should focus on is the value of innovation and the training of next-generation talent,” Chou said at the ceremony.
“They are intangible assets for companies,” he added.
As the world changes, old values have also vanished in such a fast-paced industry, Chou said.
“At this crucial point, Taiwanese companies should build their own values in a more aggressive way, reaching out to the global community and competing with world-class rivals,” he said.
Chou said when he was in junior high school, he used to dream of three ideal positions — teacher, chef and engineer. He regarded teaching as a great profession because of its role in nurturing young people and changing society, he said.
Asked by reporters to comment on the Wall Street Journal’s description of him as one of the successors to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs, Chou said he just wants to be himself.
“I just want to be myself, not anyone else,” he said.
HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang, who also attended the ceremony, said Chou is a remarkable leader who successfully brings together people from different cultures. It’s like a smooth use of “chopsticks and forks” at the same time, she said.
HTC Founder Cho Ho-tu, who stepped down as HTC CEO in 2006, said Chou’s achievements are based on his enthusiasm, creativity, learning, pursuit of excellence and perseverance.
HTC, under Chou’s leadership, is seen as one of the fastest-growing brands in the mobile communication industry.
It has become the first Taiwanese company to be listed by Interbrand as one of the world’s top 100 brands, debuting at No. 98 in the 2011 Best Global Brands report.
The brand value of HTC increased 163 percent this year to US$3.6 billion (NT$107.75 billion) from US$1.37 billion in 2010, the highest growth among the top 100 brands, Interbrand reported.