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OCTOBER 27, 2000 VOL. 26 NO. 42 | SEARCH ASIAWEEK

Asia's Digital Elite
 T H E   D I G I T A L   2 5 
•David Mok
Hanson Cheah
William Lo
Juliet Wu
Jeffrey Koo Jr.
Narayana Murthy
Enoki Keiichi
Sim Wong Hoo
Richard Li
Lee Jae Woong
Horii Yuji
Lee Yong Teh Edward Tian
Kutaragi Ken
Peter and Antony Yip
Son Masayoshi
James Murdoch
Chan-drababu Naidu
Matei Mihalca
Chin Dae Je
Matsunaga Mari
Wu Jichuan
Stan Shih
George Yeo Yong Boon


Kutaragi Ken
President and CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment Age: 50 Tidbit: At age 10 he made an electric guitar amplifier for a friend

Will Kutaragi Ken save Sony again? Back in 1994, the brash and independent engineer created the PlayStation. Entering the brutally competitive video games business was opposed by most Sony execs, but Kutaragi persevered at a time the company's focus seemed to be flagging. The PlayStation game console has since sold some 75 million units and is Sony's biggest profit generator. That success earned Kutaragi the corner office at Sony Computer Entertainment and a chance to lead the company into the Internet era. Kutaragi hopes the PlayStation 2 will become the Net-access-device of choice for consumers worldwide. And he's looking even further ahead — to the PlayStation 3.






Son Masayoshi
President and CEO, Softbank Age: 43 Personal hero: Sakamoto Ryoma (19th-century samurai-reformer)
Even legends have their rough patches. Son Masayoshi, Japan's best-known Internet entrepreneur, has watched his fortunes shift dramatically this year as global tech markets have taken a dive. Son's basic game plan — bringing successful U.S. Web firms into Asia and listing them quickly — has been derailed for now. But that apparently hasn't deterred Son, who, as an ethnic Korean in a country that disdains minorities, is used to fighting his way to his objectives. Ever since founding Softbank 19 years ago, Son has transformed it from a local software distributor and publisher to a globe-straddling investor with stakes in some 450 companies, including Internet giants Yahoo! and E*Trade. For insight into Son's fighting attitude, look to his hero Sakamoto Ryoma, a samurai who was instrumental in overthrowing Japan's feudal shogunate in 1867 and opening the country to the outside world.


James Murdoch
Chairman and CEO, STAR TV Age: 27 Hobbies: Reading, playing with the dog E-mail: webmaster@startv.com
For years, people talked about STAR TV as a directionless money-burner — until twenty-something James Murdoch arrived as its full-time chief in May. Murdoch launched the hit Crorepati, the Hindi version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire; he acquired India's second-largest cable TV operator; he formed a partnership with Taiwan's GigaMedia to upgrade the latter's network and develop original content. Newlywed James brought vision to the satellite TV network, which reaches some 300 million people in 53 countries across Asia. Despite his youth, he is not without portfolio. He has experience in startups and previously headed global Internet and digital media ventures for News Corp., STAR's parent. Being the son of News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch doesn't hurt, either (see story page 40).


Chan-drababu Naidu
Chief Minister, Andhra Pradesh Age: 50 Quote: I am making Andhra Pradesh a pilot project for the rest of the country.
Building a Net-age company is one thing. Building a Net-age state is quite another, but Chandrababu Naidu is showing how it's done. A man rarely separated from his laptop computer, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh in India is turning the state capital Hyderabad into a cybercity to rival Bangalore. He is wiring the government from top to bottom, allowing monitoring of all departments and programs. Besides improving his oversight of the bureaucracy, Naidu hopes to improve public oversight as well by putting information on open networks accessible through public kiosks. Now national politicians want Naidu to spread his savvy to the rest of the country. He was recently designated co-chairperson of the national I.T. task force.

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