Jeong H. Kim

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Jeong H. Kim
Jeong Kim Headshot (2016)
Kim in 2016
Born (1960-08-13) August 13, 1960 (age 61)
Seoul, South Korea
Alma mater
Military career
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1982–1989
RankU.S. Navy O-4 infobox.svg Lieutenant commander

Jeong Hun Kim (Korean: 김종훈; born August 13, 1960) is a South Korean-born American academic, businessman, and entrepreneur in the technology industry.

In 2004, Kim was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering for contributions to national defense and security through improved battlefield communication.

He served as the President of Bell Labs from 2005 to 2013.

Early life[edit]

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Jeong Kim is a product of a broken home. His parents divorced when he was very young, and he was raised by different relatives while his father went to find work. He immigrated to the United States with his family in 1975 at the age of 14. Speaking little English, he found the transition to a foreign culture difficult,[1] but he found teachers who recognized his ambition and appetite for work, and took a personal interest in him. Kim left home at the age of 16, at one point sleeping in the basement of one of his high-school teachers. He worked the night shift at a 7-Eleven to support himself until he finished school.[2]


Kim attended public schools throughout his K-12 education graduating a semester early from high school. Having won a scholarship to Johns Hopkins University, Kim earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and computer science in three years.[1] During his seven-year stint in the U.S. Navy, Kim also earned a master's degree in technical management from Johns Hopkins University, and, after returning to civilian life, earned a Ph.D. in reliability engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park – in only two years and while working full-time.[2] His was the first doctorate to be awarded by the university in that discipline.[3]


Early career[edit]

While still in college he began to work for a start-up tech firm called Digitus (1980-1982). He became a partner in the company and believed he was well on his way to realizing significant financial returns from his stake in the enterprise. But upon graduation, he determined that it was time to repay his adopted country for the opportunities it had given him, so he left Digitus to join the U.S. Navy, where he served as a nuclear submarine officer (1982-1989).[3]

As Digitus fell victim to the accelerating consolidation of the computer industry, Kim resolved that on leaving the Navy he would start his own business and avoid the mistakes Digitus had made. Unable to obtain financing for his own start-up, however, he signed on as a contract engineer for AlliedSignal at the Naval Research Laboratory (1990-1993), where he became aware of the asynchronous transfer technology used to link different modes of electronic communication. He saw the need to bridge the gap between the integrated technology of the future and the many differing systems in use today. The military, for one, had a need to link its divergent systems of voice, video, and data, especially from remote areas lacking communications infrastructure.[3]

Yurie Systems (1992-1998)[edit]

In 1992, Kim borrowed against his house and his credit cards to start Yurie Systems Inc.[3] Within five years, Yurie was taken public in February 1997 and later named the #1 Hot Growth Company among all public companies in the United States by BusinessWeek in May 1997.[4] In 1998, Kim sold the company to Lucent Technologies for $1.1 billion.[5] Kim personally received over $510 million after the sale.[6]

Lucent Technologies (1998-2001)[edit]

At age 37, having sold Yurie, he stayed on with Lucent, serving first as president of carrier networks (1998-1999), then as president of the optical networking group (2000-2001),[7] where he orchestrated a multibillion-dollar business turnaround that propelled Lucent's worldwide market share position from #4 in the optical space to #1 in four fiscal quarters.[8]

In 1999, Kim co-founded Taconic Capital Advisors LLC, an event-driven and multi-strategy hedge fund firm, along with Kenneth Brody and Frank Brosens.[9]

Post-Lucent Technologies (2002-2005)[edit]

Kim took a hiatus from Lucent in 2002 to join the University of Maryland faculty, with joint appointments in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering.[10] While teaching, Kim assembled a group of investors to purchase Cibernet, a provider of cellular billing exchange services, and served as Chairman from March 2003 until July 2005.[11]

Bell Labs (2005-2013)[edit]

In 2005, he rejoined Lucent (which later became Alcatel-Lucent after its merger with the French telecom giant, Alcatel; Alcatel-Lucent has since been acquired by Nokia) to serve as president of its Bell Labs division. He was the institution's 11th president – and the first recruited from outside the Labs in its 80-year history. In the last two years of his eight-year tenure as the head of Bell Labs (2005-2013), Kim also served as Alcatel-Lucent's chief strategy officer.[12]

Kiswe Mobile (2013-Present)[edit]

Kim left Alcatel-Lucent in 2013 and co-founded and became Executive Chairman of Kiswe Mobile Inc. – a start-up focused on interactive mobile video.[13][14]

Other activities[edit]

Kim currently serves on the boards of Samsung,[15] Arris Group[16] and the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).[17] He was previously on the boards of Schneider Electric SA (France),[18] McLeodUSA,[19] MTI MicroFuel Cells,[20] In-Q-Tel,[21] Bankinter Foundation of Innovation (Spain),[21] NASDAQ Listing and Hearing Review Council,[22] Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, among many others. He also enjoys his position as a minority owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the National Hockey League's Washington Capitals, the National Basketball Association's Washington Wizards, the Women's National Basketball Association's Washington Mystics, the Arena Football League's Washington Valor, the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., and manages the Kettler Capitals Iceplex and George Mason University's EagleBank Arena.[23][24]

Kim served on the boards of Johns Hopkins University,[25] Georgetown University, the University of Maryland,[26] and the Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies at Stanford University.[21] The University of Maryland recognized his contribution with the construction and naming of the Jeong H. Kim Engineering and Applied Science Building.[27][28] The Stevens Institute of Technology honored him by conferring an Honorary Doctor of Engineering,[29] as did Postech University in Korea with a Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa.[30] In 2009, he was honored with the Chinese Institute of Engineers' Lifetime Achievement Award.[31]

Kim was one of the founding partners of Venture Philanthropy Partners,[32] an investment organization that provides money, expertise, and personal contacts to improve the lives and boost the opportunities of children and youth of low-income families. He also joined the board of DC2024, a group that attempted to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to Washington D.C.[33]

Kim served on the U.S. Presidential Commission on Review of U.S. Intelligence, the External Advisory Board of the CIA,[34] and the Award Committee for the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation. He currently serves on the board of the Nuclear Threat Initiative.[17] In February 2013, he was nominated as the Minister of Future Creation and Science for South Korea though he withdrew his candidacy shortly thereafter.[35][36][37]

Awards and recognition[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kim, Jeong H. (December 2011), "Serving in Uniform Was a 'Rite of Passage' in Becoming a Full-Fledged American", Proceedings Magazine, U.S. Naval Institute, vol. 137/12/1306, retrieved 4 May 2016
  2. ^ a b Lord, Mary (March 2006), "The House that Kim Built", Prism Magazine, American Society for Engineering Education, vol. 15/7, archived from the original on 13 August 2016, retrieved 21 June 2016
  3. ^ a b c d e "Biography: Jeong Kim President Emeritus of Bell Labs". Academy of Achievement. Archived from the original on 31 August 2001. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  4. ^ Barrett, Amy (26 May 1997). "High-tech Hot Rod". BusinessWeek. McGraw-Hill.
  5. ^ "A Techpreneur Who Dreams Big", Johns Hopkins Magazine, Johns Hopkins University, vol. 56/4, September 2004
  6. ^ "Jeong Kim: Setting the pace - 2002-09-16". Archived from the original on 2006-02-19.
  7. ^ "Jeong Kim". TechZine. Alcatel-Lucent. 11 September 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  8. ^ Dell'Oro Report, Dell'Oro Group, July 2001
  9. ^ "An Engineer in the Finance World". University of Maryland. 7 March 2005. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Jeong Kim is Professor of Practice" (PDF), Metrics, University of Maryland, vol. 2/3, Summer 2003
  11. ^ Stern, Christopher (18 March 2003). "New Investors Take Over Cibernet". The Washington Post. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  12. ^ "Presidents of Bell Labs". Nokia Bell Labs. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  13. ^ "Washington Mystics and Kiswe Mobile Release Groundbreaking App". Kiswe Mobile. 16 June 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  14. ^ Bing, Chris (5 January 2016). "First Look: Kiswe Will Change the Way You Watch Sports This Year". DCInno. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  15. ^ Ji-Eun, Seo (24 February 2018). "Samsung board gets more diverse". Korea Joongang Daily. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  16. ^ Santo, Brian (16 May 2014). "Arris Appoints Kim to Its Board". CED Magazine. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  17. ^ a b "Des Browne and Jeong Kim Join NTI Board of Directors". NTI News. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  18. ^ "Implementation of the new governance of Schneider Electric SA" (PDF) (Press release). Schneider Electric SA. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  19. ^ "McLeodUSA Strengthens Board of Directors to Support Post-Recapitalization Growth Strategy". The Free Library. 5 June 2002. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  20. ^ "Jeong H. Kim Joins Board of Directors of MTI MicroFuel Cells". PR Newswire. 3 December 2002. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  21. ^ a b c "Jeong H. Kim". Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  22. ^ "Nasdaq Listing and Hearing Review Council" (PDF). NASDAQ. 2005. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  23. ^ "Jeong H. Kim". Monumental Sports & Entertainment. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  24. ^ "Ted Leonsis (with description of Monumental Sports & Entertainment)". Monumental Sports & Entertainment. Archived from the original on 18 May 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  25. ^ "Board of Trustees". Johns Hopkins University. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  26. ^ a b "KPMG Peat Marwick Winners". Washington Technology. 17 June 1998. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  27. ^ Henry, Shannon (10 December 1998). "Millionaire is True to His School". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  28. ^ "Welcome to the Future" (PDF), Engineering @ Maryland, A. James Clark School of Engineering, vol. 5/2, Fall 2005, retrieved 23 June 2016
  29. ^ a b Fedschun, Travis (17 May 2012). "Stevens Institute of Technology Announces Speakers for 140th Commencement in Hoboken". The Jersey Journal. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  30. ^ a b "Merck Exec Gets POSTECH Honorary Ph.D." The Korea Herald. 11 February 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  31. ^ a b "Chinese Institute of Engineers awards Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs President Jeong Kim Lifetime Achievement Award". Alcatel-Lucent (Press release). 23 February 2009. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  32. ^ "Founding Investors". Venture Philanthropy Partners. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  33. ^ Fruehling, Douglas (4 September 2014). "The DC2024 Board is a Who's Who of Washington Business- and that's Good News". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  34. ^ "Message from the Director: New External Advisory Board". (Press release). Central Intelligence Agency. 9 September 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  35. ^ Knight, Ted (17 February 2013). "UMD Alumnus Jeong Kim Nominated for Ministry Post in South Korea". UMD Right Now. University of Maryland. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  36. ^ Heath, Thomas (22 February 2013). "U.S. tech giant named to South Korean Cabinet faces hitch over CIA ties". The Washington Post. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  37. ^ Heath, Thomas (4 March 2013). "Washington tech mogul withdraws Korea bid". The Washington Post. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  38. ^ "Maryland Entrepreneur and Distinguished Philanthropist Dr. Jeong H. Kim to Receive 2016 Horatio Alger Award". PRNewswire. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  39. ^ Heath, Thomas (5 January 2014). "Capital Buzz: For Jeong Kim, a spot in France's Legion of Honor". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  40. ^ "Greg Gianforte and Jeong Kim Announced as Stevens Institute of Technology's 2012 Commencement Speakers". Stevens Institute of Technology. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  41. ^ Cerasaro, Ashley (13 February 2012). "New Hall Call". New Jersey Monthly. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  42. ^ a b c "Kim Inducted into UM's Alumni Hall of Fame". A. James Clark School of Engineering. 7 June 2010. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  43. ^ a b "Distinguished Engineering Alumni". A. James Clark School of Engineering. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  44. ^ "2009 Awardees". AAEOY. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  45. ^ "Asian American Engineer of the Year (AAEOY) Special Awards" (PDF). National Engineers Week Foundation. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  46. ^ "Maryland Commerce Chamber Honors Jeong Kim". A. James Clark School of Engineering. 14 May 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  47. ^ Clabaugh, Jeff (11 October 2005). "Board of Trade to induct five in business hall of fame". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  48. ^ "Kim, Wiser Win Alumni Honors". A. James Clark School of Engineering. 28 November 2006. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  49. ^ "Dr. Jeong Kim Elected to National Academy of Engineering". A. James Clark School of Engineering. 13 February 2004. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  50. ^ "ICAS Liberty Award". Institute for Corean-American Studies. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  51. ^ "Ellis Island Medals of Honor Awards Ceremony". Congressional Record Online. Government Publishing Office. 22 June 1999. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  52. ^ "The Distinguished Alumni Award". Johns Hopkins University. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  53. ^ "Metro in Brief - Immigrants' Achievements Honored". The Washington Post. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  54. ^ "Technology Innovators Honored As Entrepreneurs Of The Year". Laboratory Network. 17 November 1998. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  55. ^ "1998 Van Fleet Award Honoree". The Korea Society. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  56. ^ Guidera, Mark (17 April 1998). "MedImmune named Md. high tech firm of year Other winners were Kim of Yuri Systems, Lee of Sytel Inc". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  57. ^ "And the winner is ... MedImmune". Washington Business Journal. 17 April 1998. Retrieved 22 June 2016.