CalBusiness

 

Summer 2007

Feature Story

Your Haas Network

Daniel Yu, BS 77, MBA 80
President for Greater China, Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Hong Kong

 

Long before China's economic explosion began, Daniel Yu, BS 77, MBA 80, recognized China's enormous promise and helped Sun Microsystems establish its foothold in the market. Yu is now president of Sun for greater China, a position he has held for 13 years. Although he claims he was in the right place at the right time, Yu concedes that breaking into China was "extremely challenging."

 

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Yu moved to San Francisco at age 16. Two years later, he began his studies at UC Berkeley as an undergraduate. He later enrolled in the Evening & Weekend MBA Program at Haas, finishing in just two years and one summer while working at Ford's aerospace division in Palo Alto.

 

"There is no conventional thinking on campus," Yu says about Berkeley. "It's all about asking the question: 'why not?' and having traditional barriers removed. The creativity, the innovative thinking is the most important benefit I took away from Berkeley."

 

Yu says Haas groomed him well for his career, especially after he joined Sun Microsystems in 1985. After achieving success at the company headquarters, Yu was asked to launch its operations in Asia. With Yu leading the charge, Sun entered China in the mid-1990s. "At the time, there were considerable barriers to both entry and expansion," says Yu.

 

Yu has always been positive about the opportunities in China and has possessed a strong belief that he can help drive Sun to serve that market. "Those markets were logical choices from a supply-and-demand standpoint," he says. "They were such a good match for Sun's objectives." True to his predictions, the Chinese market is now one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

 

But Yu's passion didn't stop with building Sun's China business. He has recently focused his energy on the Sunshine Education Fund, an organization started by Sun's Hong Kong employees dedicated to providing kindergarten through sixth-grade students with an education. The Fund has built seven schools in China and has raised money for thousands of scholarships. Yu is also actively engaged in the Berkeley Club of Hong Kong.

 

As for the success he's had over the years, Yu says he doesn't spend much time considering it: "Let my children, my wife, and my colleagues decide whether I am successful."

 

Daniel Yu, BS 77, MBA 80

Daniel Yu, BS 77, MBA 80
President for Greater China, Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Hong Kong