Chow currently serves as President of VTech Telecommunications Canada
Ltd., where he is responsible for the Telecommunication Products Business in
Canada, having established the Canadian operations, VTech Electronics Canada
Ltd., in 1986. Prior to joining VTech, Mr. Chow had his own Management
Consulting practice, and held management positions with a real estate
development company and a Chartered Accountant firm. Mr. Chow holds a Bachelor
of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia and is a member of
the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia and a member of the
Board of Governors of Crofton House School in Vancouver. Mr. Chow has served as
a member of the President's Advancement Council of the British Columbia
Institute of Technology and a director of the BCIT Foundation. He was also a
member of the Royal Roads University - MBA Advisory Board, and a director of the
Canadian Toy Association.
HOLD THE PHONE: If VTech Telecommunications Canada
Ltd. president Gordon Chow's profile were any lower, he wouldn't be able to see
over his two-seater Maserati's dashboard. But the former Porsche owner likes it
that way, even though he elevated himself for a rare public appearance in the
receiving line at Oasis Hongkong Airlines' launch party.
Chow was there because the 100-employee,
Richmond-based private company he has headed since its 1986 inception is the
Canadian arm of Hong Kong-based, Bermuda-registered VTech Holdings Ltd. That
firm's founder, chair and CEO, Allan Wong, is an investor in, and vice-chairman
of, Oasis. As the airline's plans were being formulated in Hong Kong, Wong
basically said of Chow: "He's over there [Canada]. Let him help."
Chow had to offer that aid quickly after receiving the
file in February and seeing Oasis start flying this month -- a scant 60 days
after receiving approval.
His duties entailed housing airline operations and two
Discover The World Marketing staffers in VTech's office, launching a $500,000
advertising campaign, overseeing outsourced operations, and readying packages to
pitch Whistler to Kong Kong residents and China's entire Pearl River Delta
region to Canadians.
Chow likely relished the change of pace. A University
of B.C. commerce graduate who worked at Deloitte & Touche "just long
enough to get my C.A.," he entered the entrepreneurial crucible as the
Narod development firm's finance manager in 1983, "when the market was
going crazy and we were paying prime-plus-one, prime-plus-two for money -- and
that meant 20 per cent. When interest rates finally came down, we ran out of
Narod went into receivership, and Chow went into
immigration work. That's how he met Wong and VTech co-founder Stephen Yeung, who
invited him to launch Canadian operations for a firm that made electronic
educational toys and training aids before adding cordless telephone systems. As
for the Canadian firm's performance today, he'll say only that it parallels the
Not a bad parallel. The 20,000-employee group's
revenues increased by 21.5 per cent to US $1.46 billion in 2007, according to
results announced June 20.
Shareholder-attributable profitability set a record,
too, by growing 42 per cent to US $182.9 million, and dividends rose 150 per
cent to 41 cents per share. Business Week magazine rated VTech 56th among global
IT companies, and 10th in profitability.
A father of three girls, Chow is a Crofton House board
member who sits on the executive of that private school's current $20-million
capital campaign. That bag may be easier to fill than a 359-seat jumbo jet to
and from Hong Kong six times weekly. - 2007 MALCOLM
PARRY for VANCOUVER
Editor's Note: Can
you believe we have known Gord since days when the two of us were Teaching
Assistants one summer to academics at the School of Business at
UBC? He the assistant to accounting professor and me as
assistant to Anti-Combines
specialist. He is the proud parent of daughters with
his wife Irene.