Yu-Shing Chang, Tyng Ruu Lin, Hsiao-Cheng Yu
and Shih-Chi Chang
THE CEOs OF HSINCHU SCIENCE PARK
Hsinchu Science Park (HSP) is Taiwan’s high-tech cen- Among the HSP CEOs with graduate degrees, 38% ob-
ter. Its 400 technology companies accounted for 10% of tained those degrees from foreign universities, mostly in
Taiwan’s gross domestic product in 2007 when we un- the United States. But only 17% of Silicon Valley CEOs
dertook this study of the education and prior work expe- obtained their technical education abroad. In regard to
rience of 385 high-tech company CEOs in the HSP. work experience, 34% of HSP CEOs had prior work ex-
perience with foreign companies, most of them being
In November 2007, the San Jose Mercury News sur-
multinational corporations in the United States.
veyed the educational background of the CEOs from the
top 150 public companies in California’s Silicon Valley. A reasonable explanation is that with the U.S. leading in
We compared data from the two surveys to demonstrate many industrial technologies, there is little incentive for
any similarities or differences between the two high-tech the American CEOs to acquire technological knowledge
business clusters on both sides of the Paciﬁc Ocean. by studying abroad.
Sixty percent of the HSP CEOs are alumni from one of
Educational Background and Work Experience the top four universities in Taiwan, while 25% of Sili-
The number of CEOs holding graduate degrees in the con Valley CEOs earned their undergraduate or gradu-
HSP and in Silicon Valley were close—65% in Silicon ate degrees from California universities, with 20%
Valley and 71% in the HSP. Apparently, graduate de- earning their degrees in the Bay area, e.g. Stanford and
grees constitute the backbone of the high-tech CEOs in Cal Tech.
the two clusters. However, 28% of CEOs in the HSP
Thirty-one percent of the HSP CEOs graduated from the
held Ph.Ds vs. only 14% in Silicon Valley.
two universities in Hsinchu. This is similar to the fact
that 20% of the 150 Silicon Valley CEOs were alumni of
either Stanford or Cal Tech. The advantage of universi-
Yu-Shing Chang is an assistant professor in the Depart- ties in the proximity of science parks is that they provide
ment of Business Administration at Asia University, Tai- the faculty and students more opportunities to cooperate
wan. Her research interests include human resources. with local high-tech companies.
strategic management, entrepreneurship, and incuba-
tion management. Seventy-three percent of HSP CEOs are in engineering
or computer science, with 55% speciﬁcally in electrical
Tyng-Ruu Lin is an associate professor at the Institute engineering, due mostly to the HSP companies’ afﬁlia-
of Management of Technology (MOT) of National Chiao tion with the integrated-circuit, personal computer/pe-
Tung University. She earned her Ph.D. degree from Judge rip