Weili Dai, president and co-founder of Marvell Technology Group, was named Technology Innovator of the Year in the the 2012 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world's top honors for women entrepreneurs, executives, employees, and the organizations they run. (The final entry deadline for the 2013 edition of the awards is September 25.) Here we look at some of her remarkable achievements.
Weili Dai has the distinction of being the only female co-founder of a global semiconductor company. The Chinese-born, U.S.-educated—and self-described geek—co-founded Marvell Technology Group in 1995. With more than 7,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues in excess of $3.4 billion, Marvell is now one of the world's top fabless semiconductor companies.
Foundation for Success
Dai has a strong belief in principles and values, which she maintains are essential for success. Dai states: “Passion and Integrity are the foundations for all success; Fair and Care are the principles for all successful leaders.” Dai brings this philosophy to her work at Marvell.
Under Dai’s leadership, Marvell has brought many groundbreaking innovations to market that have made a tremendous impact on the world of technology and the interconnectedness of people. Dai’s personal passion and commitment to empowering people around the world with innovation and technology has taken hold at Marvell, serving as the cornerstone of the company’s culture and values. “Success is a team effort. The credit goes to the whole ecosystem: our customers, partners, and the Marvell team,” says Dai.
Dai serves as the public face of Marvell while helping chart the company’s business strategy. Marvell designs semiconductor solutions that power digital storage, mobile devices, infrastructure and networking equipment, and Smart Home solutions. Marvell’s semiconductor solutions–Dai refers to them as “the guts of electronic products”—power devices for some of the world's most powerful and high-profile brands in the technology sector.
Dai firmly believes in the notion of the “connected lifestyle.” Marvell’s goal is to provide solutions that enable people around the world to access interactive content on any screen of any size for the always-on, always-connected lifestyle globally. Dai maintains that the new era of the digital lifestyle is increasingly making the world better connected and enabling better lives for all. She sees even greater opportunity ahead.
Advocacy for Women in Technology
Dai feels that having more women in technology would have an even greater positive impact on the next generation of technology products. Dai states that while the current technology revolution is primarily centered on function, women are often strong at meshing function and design for ease of use and a beautiful look and feel. She also notes how women can bring a unique set of problem-solving skills and fresh thinking to today’s technology challenges in day-to-day life.
As such, Dai has become a leading advocate of increasing the number of women in engineering jobs and corporate leadership positions. In addition to receiving her Stevie Award for Technology Innovation, Dai was recently named one of 11 women honored by the California Assembly with its "Breaking the Glass Ceiling" award, which recognizes female pioneers in science, civil rights and government. Dai’s accomplishment is a step forward for all women who might want to pursue a career in science and technology.
An Active Philanthropist
Dai is the face of Marvell's global civic engagements including a major partnership with One Laptop Per Child, an organization that provides low-cost laptops to children in developing countries. She is also a member of the executive committees for TechNet and Bay Area Council; sits on the board of the disaster relief organization, Give2Asia; and was named to the prestigious Committee of 100, an organization representing the most-influential Chinese Americans. Dai’s latest project turns existing public school laboratory spaces into tech labs with the capability of writing new software and creating new hardware.
Dai graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in computer science and she continues to support her alma mater both financially and with her time. In recognition of her generosity, UC Berkeley established Sutardja Dai Hall, which is home to the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS). Dai was selected as the first woman commencement speaker at the University of California, Berkeley, College of Engineering graduation ceremony on May 12, 2012.
About Weili Dai
Weili Dai is one of the most successful women entrepreneurs in the world today. Widely considered a technology visionary, she is the co-founder of the global semiconductor company Marvell, and since it began in 1995, she has helped Marvell's rise to become one of the top semiconductor companies in the world. Dai has held a number of significant positions within Marvell: she has served as Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President, and General Manager of the Communications Business Group. She has also been a Director of Marvell Technology Group Ltd. and Corporate Secretary of the Board. Prior to co-founding Marvell, Dai was involved in software development and project management at Canon Research Center America, Inc. Dai has become a driving force in expanding access to technology in the developing world and an ambassador of opportunity between the US and China, particularly in the arenas of education and green technology. She has become a powerful advocate for the better use of technology to improve the human condition.
For her contributions to technology and society, Newsweek named Dai one of the "150 Women Who Shake the World." She was recently profiled by CNN International for the Leading Women Series, and Forbes Magazine lists Dai as one of the "World’s 100 Most Powerful Women".
Dai holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley. She is the proud mother of two sons: Christopher and Nicholas are Electrical Engineering graduate students at UC Berkeley and are currently PhD candidates.
About Marvell Technology Group Ltd
Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL) is a global leader in providing complete silicon solutions enabling the digital connected lifestyle. From mobile communications to storage, cloud infrastructure, digital entertainment, and in-home content delivery, Marvell's diverse product portfolio aligns complete platform designs with industry-leading performance, security, reliability and efficiency. At the core of the world's most powerful consumer, network, and enterprise systems, Marvell empowers partners and their customers to always stand at the forefront of innovation, performance, and mass appeal. Marvell is committed to enhancing the human experience by adding value to people’s social, private and work lives and providing people around the world with mobility and ease of access to services. For more information, please visit www.Marvell.com.