The technology world has lost a legend.
Creative Technology’s board of directors has announced the death of the company’s founder Sim Wong Hoo.
Mr Sim was 67 when he died.
In a filing with the Singapore Exchange, the company’s board of directors said that Sim “passed away peacefully”, adding no further details.
Sim Wong Hoo’s Legacy
Mr Sim founded Creative Technology in 1981 and has been the Chairman and Chief Executive Office since the company’s formation.
He was an important figure in pioneering the growth of the company.
From Creative’s humble beginnings as a computer shop in Chinatown, Mr Sim’s development of customised personal computers that included enhanced audio capabilities led to the development of the Sound Blaster sound cards that the company is known for today.
By 2000, he became Singapore’s then-youngest billionaire at 45 years old.
In 2006, Mr Sim sued Apple co-founder Steve Jobs for patent infringements regarding their companies’ portable music players and managed to walk away with $134 million in settlement fees.
Though the iPod ultimately beat Creative’s MP3 player, Creative made a comeback in 2019 with Super X-Fi, an audio technology which allows headphone users to have a more immersive experience.
Condolences and Gratitude
Creative’s board of directors expressed their “heartfelt gratitude for the immense contributions to the Company by Mr Sim during his tenure as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the company.”
The company has appointed Mr Song Siow Hui, President of the Company’s Creative Labs Business Unit, interim Chief Executive Officer.
Mr Song, who had worked with Mr Sim for over 30 years, mentioned, “This is a sad and sudden development and we feel a great loss especially since Mr Sim and I recently had extensive discussions on the future direction of the company.”
“During those discussions, Mr Sim was full of fresh vision. Even on the night before, he had a long discussion with the engineering team and was scheduled to meet with the online sales team the next day.”
Other notable figures have stepped forward to offer their condolences.
In a Facebook post, Min-Liang Tan, the co-founder and CEO of Razer, expressed his heartfelt gratitude for having known Mr Sim.
Mr Tan mentioned, “Will miss him – the technology world and Singapore has lost a legend.”
Former foreign affairs minister George Yeo also expressed his condolences in a Facebook post where he said he was “deeply saddened to lose an old friend.”
Mr Yeo, who was appointed an independent non-executive director at Creative in 2021, also said, “Still remember the evening he presented me and President Ong Teng Cheong with a Nomad MP3 player storing 12 songs. He was always bubbling with ideas. Never left a meeting without new inspirations.”
In this transition period, the company has appointed Mr Lee Kheng Nam, Lead Independent Non-Executive Director, as the acting Chairman. The company has also appointed Mr Ng Kai Wa, Independent Non-Executive Director, as acting Vice Chairman.
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