Singapore's Sim Wong Hoo
These are brutal times for most companies that depend on the personal computer market, especially if 25% of sales are in Asia. But Sim Wong Hoo has been to the brink and back before. So while the stock of his Singapore-based Creative Technology Ltd. has plunged by nearly 50% since mid-February on poor profits, Sim probably won't be down for long.
Creative's main edge is its supremacy in computer audio products, a field Sim, 42, pioneered in the late 1980s. His Sound Blaster board is a solid brand. But also credit Sim's ruthless restructuring in 1995, when Creative was in deep trouble. Sim dumped weak product lines and ousted many managers, including lifelong friend Ng Kai Wa, who helped found Creative in 1981. "Sim definitely is a fighter," says Ng. By taking painful measures before Asia's crash--and continuing to develop new audio products now in the pipeline--Creative is in good condition to keep up the fight.