WI Harper hires four, promotes one

The venture firm has promoted Francis Chen from venture partner to vice chairman and boosted its deal cutting capabilities in China’s cleantech and core technology sectors with four new hires.

WI Harper, a US  venture firm with operations in China, has named a vice chairman and made several new hires across its offices in San Francisco, Beijing and Taiwan. 

Francis Chen, formerly a venture partner at the firm, has been promoted to vice chairman. Based in San Francisco and Beijing, Chen is also chairman of the board of Pacific Advantage International, an outsourced business expansion service. He gained more than 20 years of executive experience at medical technology company Becton-Dickinson, global healthcare company Baxter International and other biotech startups.

Meanwhile, the firm has hired David Lam as a partner, while Jackson Hu, Ahmad Bahai and Kang Sun have joined the firm as venture partners, bringing the firm’s number of investment professionals to 21.

Lam, who is based in San Francisco, was previously a vice president at The Carlyle Group, where he led and managed investments in telecommunications and technology-enabled business services sectors.

Hu, who is based in Beijing and Taiwan, joins from semiconductor foundry UMC, where he was chief executive. Before that, he was chief executive of GPS solutions provider SiRF. He has also held senior positions in various technology companies in the past.

Bahai is a fellow and chief technologist of semiconductor manufacturer National Semiconductor. He is also an adjunct professor at Stanford University and University of California at Berkeley. Bahai has previously worked in research organisation AT&T Bell Laboratories. He is based in San Francisco.

Based in San Francisco and Beijing, Kang was formerly president and chief operating officer of solar cell manufacturer JA Solar. Prior to that, he led companies such as industrial supplies manufacturer Honeywell and Océ, a maker and retailer of printing hardware and software. Kang has also led startup ventures including RayTracker, which specialises in solar tracking systems, and FlexICs, a semiconductor company.

WI Harper currently manages six funds totaling more than $400 million from its headquarters in San Francisco, and offices in Beijing, Taipei and Singapore. The firm’s portfolio includes more than 90 companies in the IT and life sciences sector.