10 Things You Didn’t Know about Broadcom CEO Hock E. Tan

Hock E. Tan is the CEO of Broadcom Inc. There are those who will be most familiar with his name because he was named the single highest-paid CEO in the United States in 2017 with around $103.2 million in compensation. However, there are others who will be most familiar with him because of his reputation as a very aggressive cost-cutter. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Hock E. Tan:

1. The Full Name Is Tan Hock Eng

Tan’s full name is Tan Hock Eng. The name is Chinese, which is why Tan is the family name while Hock Eng is the personal name. Some people might wonder why Tan Hock Eng doesn’t look like a lot of the other Chinese names that they have seen. If so, they should know that there are numerous romanization systems for Chinese, which include those that based on Chinese dialects that can sound very different from Chinese Mandarin.

2. Malaysian Chinese

Chinese is a term that can mean more than one thing. For example, there is Chinese in the sense of nationality as well as Chinese in the sense of ethnicity. In the case of Tan, it is important to note that he is Malaysian Chinese, which is the single biggest ethnic group in Malaysia after ethnic Malays.

3. Grew Up in Penang

Regardless, Tan grew up in Penang, which is a Malaysian state that consists of the island of Penang plus a small strip of hinterland over on the Malay Peninsula. Said state is famous for being one of Malaysia’s economic powerhouses. Moreover, it is remarkably diverse when it comes to ethnicity, culture, and religion, with the Chinese, the Indians, and the Malays being just the three most common ethnic groups living there.

4. Poor Background

Tan came from a poor background. This can be seen in how he has said that his parents couldn’t have paid for a college education for him. However, Tan seems to have been a pretty good student, seeing as how he was able to go to school in the United States because of a scholarship.

5. Went to MIT

Eventually, Tan went on to get not one but two degrees from MIT. The first time, he got a Bachelor of Science. The second time, he got a Master of Science.

6. Went to Harvard

Later, Tan went to the Harvard Business School, where he would eventually walk away with a Master of Business Administration. Suffice to say that a MBA isn’t an uncommon choice for people seeking to climb the corporate ladder, seeing as how that is the degree that covers the most relevant topics for people in management.

7. Started Out in Malaysia Before Moving Over to Singapore

Upon graduation, Tan’s business career started up in his homeland of Malaysia, where his impressive education provided him with a considerable boost. Eventually, he headed on over to the city of Singapore, which is a major economic power in Southeast Asia because of its strategic location as well as a number of other influential factors.

8. Got to Broadcom Corporation Via Buyouts and Mergers

Tan is the current CEO of Broadcom Corporation. It is interesting to note that he arrived at said corporation via a series of buyouts and mergers. In short, he was the CEO of Integrated Circuit Systems but became the Chairman of Integrated Device Technology Inc. when the former was sold to the latter. When a buyout of Integrated Device Technology Inc. led to the creation of Avago, Tan was the one picked to become its CEO. Finally, when Avago was merged with Broadcom Corporation, Tan winded up becoming the CEO of the resulting corporation.

9. Moved Legal Address to the United States

In 2016, Tan moved the legal address of Broadcom from Singapore to the United States. This was carried out because a proposed merger with Brocade Communications Systems had been delayed for review, which was promptly avoided by the move. Speaking of which, this is the same incident that led to Broadcom Ltd. being renamed Broadcom Inc.

10. Supports Autism Research

On a final note, Tan has been known to pledge tens of millions of dollars to autism research. This is because Tan and his wife Lisa Yang have a couple of children with autism. One of whom has a form of autism so severe that he has to live in a group home, while other other has a milder form of autism that hasn’t stopped her from going to college with plenty of support from her parents.


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