Lip-Bu Tan

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Lip-Bu Tan
Born (1959-11-12) November 12, 1959 (age 62)
Alma mater
OccupationBusiness executive, venture capitalist
OfficeExecutive chairman of Cadence Design Systems
TermJanuary 8, 2009–present
(President: January 8, 2009–November 16, 2017)
Board member ofHewlett Packard Enterprise
Schneider Electric
Spouse(s)Ysa Loo
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese陳立武[2]
Simplified Chinese陈立武
Hanyu PinyinChén Lìwǔ
Hokkien POJTân Li̍p-bú

Lip-Bu Tan (born November 12, 1959) is a Malaysian-born American executive and entrepreneur presently the executive chairman of Cadence Design Systems and Chairman of Walden International, a venture capital firm.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in 1959 in Muar, Johor, Federation of Malaya (in modern Malaysia) to a Malaysian Chinese family,[3][4] Tan grew up in Singapore and graduated from Nanyang University with a BSc in physics.[5] Tan later completed an M.S. in nuclear engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the U.S.[3] Tan began Ph.D. studies in the subject at MIT, but because the 1979 Three Mile Island accident caused a sharp reduction in opportunities in the nuclear industry, Tan left MIT and transferred to the University of San Francisco, where he graduated with an MBA.[3][6][7]

Business career[edit]

Tan was a manager at EDS Nuclear and ECHO Energy and partner at the Walden USA investment fund before founding venture capital firm Walden International in 1987.[8][7][9] He named the firm after the book Walden by Henry David Thoreau because Tan's goal was to be like Thoreau: "contrarian, rather than just following the trend."[6] Growing from $20 million upon its founding to $2 billion by 2001, Walden International has focused its investments on semiconductor, alternative energy, and digital media businesses and startups in the U.S. and Asia such as Ambarella Inc., Creative Technology, S3 Graphics, and Sina Corp.[4][6][10] For Tan's breakthrough investments in Asian tech startups, Forbes dubbed Tan "the pioneer of Asian VC" in 2001.[10]

On February 10, 2004, the Cadence Design Systems board of directors elected Tan to the board.[11] Tan became interim co-CEO in October 2008 following the resignation of Michael Fister in October 2008. The Cadence board formally named Tan president and CEO effective January 8, 2009.[12] Under Tan's leadership, Cadence grew its net worth to $1.3 billion by 2012, including $440 million in that year alone.[13] Cadence also expanded its Shanghai office in 2012.[14] In 2013, Cadence purchased private chip design company Tensilica for $380 million.[15] On November 16, 2017, Tan dropped the title of president while remaining CEO of Cadence.[16]

In 2017, the analytics firm Relationship Science named him most connected executives in the technology industry garnering a perfect "power score" of 100.[17]

Boards and memberships[edit]

From 2006 to 2011, Tan was a trustee of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.[4] Tan also served on the Regent College Board of Governors from 2006 to 2012.[4] Additionally, Tan currently directs the boards of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Schneider Electric, and Softbank and has served on the boards of Ambarella, Flextronics International, Inphi Corporation, Mindtree, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, UC Berkeley College of Engineering, and United Overseas Bank.[4][18] He is also a member of the Committee of 100.[4]

Tan has also been an elder at the First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley since the 1990s.[19]


In November 2019, Tan and Cadence Design Systems endowed two computer science professorships for $3 million each at Carnegie Mellon University.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Tan lives in Piedmont, California, with his wife Ysa Loo. They have two grown children.[3]


  1. ^[bare URL PDF]
  2. ^ "Cadence總裁陳立武:國內半導體公司技術不落後". Sina Finance. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d Johnson, Steve (February 4, 2011). "Mercury News interview: Lip-Bu Tan, president and CEO of Cadence Design Systems". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on May 5, 2017. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Lip-Bu Tan". Committee of 100. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  5. ^ Marinissen, Erik Jan (November 2012). "Pioneering in Asia With the U.S. Venture Capital Model". IEEE Design & Test of Computers. 29 (6): 52–55. doi:10.1109/MDT.2012.2221003. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c "Special Report -- Stars of Asia -- Financiers: Lip-Bu Tan, Chairman, Walden International, U.S." BusinessWeek. July 12, 2004. Archived from the original on July 7, 2004. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Lip-Bu Tan". Walden International. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  8. ^ Tan, Lip-Bu oral history. Computer History Museum. October 1, 2018. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  9. ^ Nass, Gilad (September 22, 2001). "Walden: A VC fund that looks to the future". Globes: Israel's Business Arena. Archived from the original on September 25, 2001. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  10. ^ a b Kitchens, Susan (April 2, 2001). "The pioneer of Asian VC". Forbes. Archived from the original on August 19, 2002. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  11. ^ "Cadence Elects Lip-Bu Tan to its Board of Directors". Cadence Design Systems. February 10, 2004. Archived from the original on June 12, 2004. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  12. ^ Leopold, George (January 8, 2009). "Lip-Bu Tan named Cadence CEO". EE Times. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  13. ^ Pulakkat, Hari (February 18, 2013). "Cadence CEO Lip-Bu Tan looking for good startups to invest in India". The Economic Times. Archived from the original on July 19, 2020. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  14. ^ Sibley, Lisa (March 21, 2012). "Cadence expands Shanghai office and R&D center". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  15. ^ Schubarth, Cromwell (March 12, 2013). "Cadence Design to buy Tensilica for $380M". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  16. ^ "Cadence Design Systems Inc 2017 Current Report 8-K".
  17. ^ Vlastelica, Ryan (2017-06-01). "These are the most well-connected people in the tech industry". MarketWatch. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  18. ^ "Biography: Lip-Bu Tan".
  19. ^ "Lip-Bu Tan's Non-Profit Activities" (PDF). Retrieved 2021-12-07.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. ^ Torrance, Luke (November 13, 2019). "Carnegie Mellon receives $6M for two computer-related professorships". Pittsburgh Business Times. Retrieved July 8, 2020.