[PHILANTHROPY] Billionaire Min Kao Donates $17.5M / Sad State of Engineering
- Billionaire Kao Invests In Future Engineers
Greg Levine, 06.30.05, 2:53 PM ET
NEW YORK - Doers and doings in business, entertainment and
Garmin Chairman and Chief Executive Min Kao has given $17.5 million
to his alma mater, the University of Tennessee. The school said in a
statement that the billionaire's gift to the college of engineering
is the largest private donation ever bestowed upon the institution
of higher learning.
Way Kuo, the university's dean of engineering, told Kansas City,
Mo.'s The Business Journal that "He [Kao], like all of us, believes
we should be putting more attention toward engineering... He thinks
we need more engineers." Garmin creates and purveys devices that
link with global positioning systems, to help travelers navigate--
and circumnavigate--the roads and wilds of the world.
Kao is of a like mind with Bill Gates. The Microsoft chairman
earlier this week warned both the U.S. and Japan that a generation
of kids apathetic toward engineering might doom the giant economies
to slip behind India and China. (see below for additional info)
Dr. Min Kao, Chairman & CEO
Ted Gartner / Senior Media Relations Specialist of Garmin
913-397-8200 / media.relations@...
Dr. Min Kao co-founded Garmin Corporation with Gary Burrell in
October 1989 to integrate Global Positioning System (GPS) technology
into navigation devices for multiple markets. Today Dr. Kao directs
the day-to-day operations of Garmin International, Inc., and is
credited with the breakthrough design and engineering of the GPS
software technology that formed the foundation of the original
Garmin product line.
Prior to founding Garmin, Dr. Kao served as a systems analyst at
Teledyne Systems for inertial, radio navigation and fire control
systems. While at Magnavox Advanced Products, he designed the Kalman
filter algorithms for Phase II GPS user equipment. He later served
as engineering group leader with King Radio Corporation and Allied
Signal, where he led the development of the first GPS navigator to
be certified by the FAA. Dr. Kao has a B.S. in electrical
engineering from National Taiwan University. His career began at the
University of Tennessee, where he earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees
in electrical engineering and was involved in research for NASA and
the U.S. Army.
Min H Kao Phd
CEO/Chairman of the Board/Director at Garmin Ltd.
Officer since January 1999
56 years old
Worldwide provider of navigation, communications and information
devices, most of which are enabled by GPS technology. Designs,
develops, manufactures and markets a diverse family of hand-held,
portable and fixed-mount GPS-enabled products.
Dr. Min H. Kao, age 56, has served as Chairman of Garmin Ltd. since
August 2004 and was previously Co-Chairman of Garmin Ltd. from
August 2000 to August 2004.
He has served as Chief Executive Officer of Garmin Ltd. since August
2002 and previously served as Co-Chief Executive Officer from August
2000 to August 2002.
He has been President of Garmin Corporation since January 1999. He
has also been Chairman and a director of Garmin Corporation since
Dr. Kao has been President of Garmin International, Inc. since March
2002, Chairman of Garmin International, Inc. since July 2004 and a
director of Garmin International, Inc. since August 1990.
He served as Vice President of Garmin International, Inc. from April
1991 to March 2002. Dr. Kao has been President of Garmin USA, Inc.
since March 2002 and a director of Garmin USA, Inc. since December
Dr. Kao has been President of Garmin AT, Inc. and a director of
Garmin AT, Inc. since August 2003. He served as Vice President of
Garmin USA, Inc. from December 2001 to March 2002. He has been a
director of Garmin (Europe) Ltd. since 1992.
Dr. Kao holds Ph.D. and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from
the University of Tennessee and a BS degree in Electrical
Engineering from National Taiwan University.
Gates Warns 'Declining' U.S., Japan Of China Threat
NEW YORK - Doers and doings in business, entertainment and
This is your brain on outsourcing. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has
a stern warning for Japan and the U.S.: The future of the world's
two top economies may be imperiled by young people's "declining
interest" in applied sciences.
Speaking to a group of Japanese business managers, Earth's richest
man observed that "we look at students and their level of interests
in going into engineering, science and computer work in both Japan
and the United States--there is a declining interest." And according
to the software leviathan's founder, the other edge of that sword
may be even more dangerous.
The ballooning economies of China and India have been steadily
strengthening their competitive edges in the global market by
nurturing more young engineers, Gates said.
He chided American and Japanese companies for outsourcing work to
other countries, because doing so will cause their domestic
workforces' skilled labor to emigrate. "If you rely too much on the
people in other countries and other companies, in a sense that's
your brain and you are outsourcing your brain," Gates declared. Just
Bill Gates warns Japan, US may be weakened by 'declining interest'
TOKYO (AFX) - Microsoft founder Bill Gates said declining interest
among Japanese and American children in science and technology could
weaken the world's top two economies.
By contrast, emerging economies China and India have been improving
their competitive edges in the global market by producing young
engineers, Gates said.
'We look at students, and their level of interests in going into
engineering, science and computer work in both Japan and the United
States -- there is a declining interest,' Gates told a gathering of
Japanese business managers.
'Ironically, in the world at large, there is a substantially
increasing interest. That's accounted entirely for two countries --
China and India.'
Japanese and US firms should not simply outsource work to foreign
firms because doing so will cause a brain drain of their domestic
workforces, Gates said.
'If you rely too much on the people in other countries and other
companies, in a sense that's your brain and you are outsourcing your
brain,' Gates said.
He said Japan and the United States 'definitely have to do
something' to encourage students to study science and help them
become IT (information technology) workers.
Such a move should help the countries ensure continued economic
growth in the increasingly competitive world.
'... if we are not able to get the brightest students to
energetically go into those courses to get the right type of
training, that means our economies would not get as much the share
increase in the richness and improvement than we ought to,' Gates
Microsoft said yesterday it will enhance joint research with
Japanese universities, launching a new institute here directed by
robot technology expert Katsushi Ikeuchi at the University of Tokyo.
BURRELL SLOWS DOWN, BUT GARMIN KEEPS MOVIN' ON!
Gary Burrell, co-founder, co-chairman and co-CEO of Garmin, Ltd.,
retired as co-CEO in August of 2002 on his 65th birthday. Mr.
Burrell remains as co-chairman and a director of the company as well
as chairman of its U.S. subsidiaries.
Dr. Min Kao, who is co-chairman and was co-CEO of Garmin Ltd.,
continues as co-chairman and a director of the company and is now
the sole CEO. Dr. Kao also continues to hold his present positions
as president of the company's U.S. subsidiaries and of its Taiwan
Gary Burrell and Min Kao together founded Garmin in 1989 and have
jointly led the company since then. As you might know, the name
GARMIN was derived from the first names of its founders GARy
Burrell and MIN Kao another example of their desire to share all
important aspects of their company.
Garmin, Ltd., designs, manufacturers and markets navigation and
communication electronics world wide in the aviation, automotive,
marine, military and consumer marketplaces, and they are a world
leader in Global Positioning Systems.
LIFE BEFORE GARMIN
Burrell was vice-president of engineering for Lowrance Electronics
before coming to King Radio in Olathe, Kansas. Kao came to King
after serving on the engineering staffs of Magnavox Advanced
Products and Systems Co. and Teledyne Systems Company.
Both men contributed greatly to the success of King Radio, Burrell
spending 12 of his 23 years there as vice-president of engineering.
Dr. Kao, who has devoted more than two decades of his career to GPS
algorithms and architecture, led King Radio's development of the
first GPS Navigator to be certified by the FAA. This was truly the
start of something big!
BACK TO THE FUTURE
Commenting on his retirement, Mr. Burrell said, "I feel fortunate
and privileged to have had the opportunity to help build a company
which has not only become a leader in general aviation and consumer
GPS products, but whose products have helped improve the safety of
navigation. As I reach retirement age, I hope to devote more time to
my family, to traveling with my wife and to philanthropy. Min Kao
has been my partner from the beginning. He is an exceptional
manager, leader and engineer, and he has been a driving force behind
Garmin's growth and success."
"I am confident that he will continue to lead the company with the
same skill and values that have been the foundation for our
And Dr. Kao said, "Garmin's success is built on the principles of
innovation, convenience, performance, value, and service that Gary
Burrell has always cherished. I look forward to helping to continue
to serve and delight our customers with innovative products."
SPEAKING OF INNOVATION
One of the newer products that emerged from the GPS people has some
amazing features. The GPSMAP 196, \for use in automobile or boat as
well as aircraft, continues the legacy of the popular GPSMAP 195. In
the cockpit, a GPSMAP 196 provides a backup layer of situational
awareness for pilots. It allows them not only to see their position
along a route, but also view ground speed, altitude, vertical speed
and turn coordination all derived from GPS input in a battery-
operated unit (equipped for plug-in to a panel or dashboard power
Garmin has added an automatic logbook feature to the GPSMAP 196 that
enables aviators to store the date, points of departure and arrival,
day/night flight conditions, and total duration of flight.
FlightBook software has been developed that allows pilots to
retrieve data from the automatic logbook. The software can be
downloaded from Garmin's website at www.garmin.com/products/gps196/.
While you are at the website, you may want to check out Garmin's new
16-watt COMM for corporate aircraft, their mode S transponder for
under $5,000 and the new GDL 49 Satellite Data Link Transceiver that
provides weather data to Garmin's 400 and 500 series panel mounts.
Coupled with a subscription to Echo Flight's weather Data Link
service, the GDL 49 gives pilots instant access to NEXRAD weather
data and METARS.
NO BAD ECONOMY HERE
On July 31, Garmin, Ltd. revised its 2002 growth forecast upward,
and they are expecting additional growth in 2003. It seems there
have been no downturns at Garmin, and that's quite a feat
considering today's economy.
With the momentum Garmin has and their innovation that seems
endless, there is no telling what technological marvel may display a
Garmin nameplate in the future. It will be interesting to see!
The management and staff at Elliott Aviation send best wishes to
Gary Burrell for a happy "semi-retirement." And congratulations for
a job well done at Garmin!
Garmin CEO: 'Volatile' market won't stop strong growth
Garmin Ltd. executives assured shareholders Friday that the
navigation device-maker is poised for a highly profitable 2005, even
though the company's stock at Thursday's close was down 37 percent,
or $16.59, since the end of last year.
"We are in an industry ... that is poised for very significant
growth," Garmin CEO Min Kao said at the annual shareholders meeting
Friday in Overland Park. "Our market, it tends to be more volatile."
The Olathe-based company (Nasdaq: GRMN) forecasts earnings of $250
million to $260 million in 2005 on revenue of $890 million to $915
That's up from earnings of $205.7 million in 2004 on revenue of
Even with zero debt, more than $600 million in cash and equivalents,
and burgeoning top and bottom lines, Garmin's stock has gone wildly
up and down the past two years.
After losing more than $20 a share at one point in the summer of
2004, Garmin shares rebounded and closed higher than $60 in 2004, or
up about 9 percent on the year.
Garmin CFO Kevin Rauckman said at Friday's meeting that some
investors were discounting the stock because they don't think the
company can maintain its 50 percent-plus gross margins.
"The natural inclination is, 'Hey, Garmin can't sustain that,'" he
To dispute that, Rauckman pointed to a chart that showed Garmin's
gross margins in 2004 were roughly the same as in 2000, when the
company went public.
"We're still at the same place: 54 percent," Rauckman said.
Garmin ranks No. 16 on The Business Journal's list of area public
REACH CHARLIE ANDERSON at 816-421-5900 or clanderson@....