Mr. Chong-Moon Lee
Chong-Moon Lee founded Diamond Multimedia Systems in 1982, which later (1994) achieved the No. 1 ranking in revenue and market share for PC graphic accelerator product in America (by IDC Computer Industry report, 1995). Diamond Multimedia was ranked 17th fastest growing privately held company in America for 1993 on the Inc. business magazine's 500 fastest growing company list, and as the 8th fastest growing privately held company in Silicon Valley by the Business Journal of San Jose in 1993. As the sole founder, it took 13 years of struggles to take the company to its successful IPO in early 1995. In 1996, he stepped down from CEO and chairman of the board, and started a venture capital company under the name of AmBex Venture Partners, which turned him into a venture capitalist. Since then, active investments have been made in the areas of wireless communication, Internet infrastructures, network security, multimedia applications, and the financial institutions.
A native of South Korea, Lee came to United States as a student in 1958 and has been active in both sides of the Pacific. He has a diverse background involving not only in business, but in education, cultural as well as athletic activities. Prior to founding Diamond, Lee served as a librarian, as a university professor, as board member of UNESCO Korea Chapter and Olympic Committee of Korea. Currently Lee serves as a trustee and commissioner of The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco for 20 years, a trustee of Asia Society New York for 17 years, co-chairman of Asia Society Northern California Chapter for 14 years, and a trustree of The Asia Foundation for 17 years, among many others. In addition, he is a founding board member of The Tech Museum of Innovation of San Jose, California and also was an advisory board member and later served as a trustee of CSIS(Center for Strategic and International Studies), Washington, DC.
Lee also has been an active philanthropist in the local, national as well as international levels through The Chong-Moon Lee Foundation. As one of the widely known examples, the Foundation donated $16 million to The Asian Art Museum, the largest Asian Art collections in United States, and then named the Museum after him as "Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture".He became the first Asian whose name is engraved on America's public building. Asian Art Museum is the largest museum of its kind in the world outside Asia enough to reserve 170,000 square feet for exhibition space. The museum is located on the beautiful San Franicsco Civic Center. He also supports financially many educational and cultural institutions, such as universities, hospitals, humanitarians and social services organizations.
Between 1998 through 2003 when South Korea was under IMF(International Monetary Fund), Washington, DC control for 5 years due to the financial crisis, Lee created and financed a special program at Stanford University with the support of Dr. Gerhard Casper, the President of the University. He brought 50 young and highly intellect Korean engineers to the Stanford each year for a two week compact program to ignite their entrepreneurial spirit by the famous Stanford professors and also to show them how Silicon Valley habitats functions. 246 Korean engineers highly selected by the Stanford team were able to participate this program. Separately from this program, Lee organized and financed two Stanford experts to make a survey for 3 years and published a report about what would it take for the Korea to become a software advanced nation.
As a consulting professor at the Asia-Pacific Research Center of Stanford University (1996-2002), Lee co-authored and edited "The Silicon Valley Edge" (424 pages) with fellow professors and successful entrepreneurs, published by Stanford University Press, which traces and co-relates unique evolution of Silicon Valley and entrepreneurship. He is also an advisor to STVP(Stanford Technology Venture Program) at the School of Engineering at Stanford University. He continuously urges that engineers should have creative business minds and skills to become successful engineers and entrepreneurs. To this end, he initiated to establish "Center for Entrepreneurship" at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) to educate the young engineering students to understand the value creation through combining technology and entrepreneurial intellects.
As a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who demonstrated his words as well as leadership, committed philanthropist, and long time patron in Asian-American community, Lee has been bestowed with various awards and recognitions. In 1995, Lee was awarded a Cyril Business Leadership Award from American Chamber of Commerce. The September 2007 issue of PC Magazine named him as The Innovator of 1999 for his introduction of MP3 chip and chip based products since 1994, and making MP3 as an industry standard in computer industry. Lastly, among many others, Lee was selected as a Great Immigrant - The Pride of America of the Year 2013 by the Carnegie Corporation and pictured in the New York Times.
Lee holds five honorary doctorate degrees, two from United States and three from South Korea, Master's degree from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, and Bachelor's degree in Law from Chung Ang University, Seoul. Lee has received numerous accolades for outstanding leadership in business and civic areas.