HTC chair among world’s most influential execs



TAIPEI–American cable TV network CNBC has named Cher Wang (王雪紅), chairwoman of Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. (宏達電), as one of the most influential people in the business world of the past 25 years.

On the CNBC First 25 list, unveiled Tuesday in the United States, the network named 25 people deemed to have had the most profound impact on business and finance since 1989, in celebration of the network’s 25th anniversary.

The 25 people “have disrupted industries, sparked change and exercised an influence far beyond their own companies,” the network said on its website.

CNBC said it now faces a world completely altered from when the network first started in 1989.

The 25 men and women listed — from different parts of the world and across different industries — “have, for better or worse, been the rebels, icons and leaders of the vanguard of that change,” it said.

Wang, ranked No. 22, was the only Taiwanese entrepreneur on the list.

She is “one of the most powerful women in technology, and the most powerful in wireless, isn’t based in Silicon Valley but on the other side of the Pacific Ocean,” CNBC said.

Her company at one point made one in every six smartphones sold in the U.S. but is now battling a perilous sales slump, the network said.

On the list, Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs earned the top spot for “both transforming the way we think about technology and redefining the style in which we live.” Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates was ranked second, followed by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairmen Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan.

In an e-mailed response, Wang told CNA that the recognition belongs to all her colleagues at HTC and that she appreciates people’s support of her company.

She said HTC has been devoted to innovation in order to bring the best smartphones to global consumers, thanks to the leadership of CEO Peter Chou.

Shares of HTC, which have posted operating losses for three consecutive quarters, closed up 1.31 percent at NT$155 (US$5.13) Wednesday in Taipei. The company is scheduled to release its latest quarterly results in an earnings conference call on May 6.