Here are five things to know about the Singaporean entrepreneur

Sim Wong Hoo, chairman and chief executive officer of homegrown tech firm, Creative Technology, has died, the company announced on Thursday (January 5). 

He reportedly died on Wednesday, at the age of 67.

“On behalf of all staff of the Company, the Board expresses its deepest sorrow over the death of Mr Sim and conveys its condolences to his family. The Board also expresses its 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,” said the Creative board of directors in a Singapore Exchange filing.

The board added that Sim died peacefully but did not provide further information.

Sim founded the company in 1981 and has played an instrumental role in developing the business, revolutionising computer gaming audio with its Sound Blaster sound cards in the 1980s.

Today, Creative Technology is a world leader in the digital entertainment industry, launching entertainment products such as wireless speakers, amplifiers and next-generation home-theatre systems.

Sim was also a part of Tatler Singapore's Asia's Most Influential 2022 list for his fast-forwarding progress in the digital entertainment industry.

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In a statement, interim chief executive officer Song Siow Hui, who had worked closely with Sim for over 30 years, shared that the late founder was always "full of fresh vision".

Moving forward, the multinational technology company hopes to continue executive Sim’s visions and strategies for the company.  

Below, we take a look at Sim’s greatest contributions throughout his career, and the legacy he left behind.

1. He grew up in a big family

The late entrepreneur was born in 1955 into a family of 12 and grew up in a kampung along Bukit Panjang. He was brought up by his mother, Sim-Tan Siok Kee, who reared pigs, grew fruit and sold eggs to provide for her children.

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2. He released a biography titled “Chaotic Thoughts from the Old Millennium” in 1999

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Above Image: Sim Wong Hoo/Facebook

The biography features a collection of short stories based on Sim’s thoughts and observations of life. Here, he also coined the popular term ‘No U-Turn Syndrome (NUTS)’, describing the social behaviour of a stereotypical Singaporean as having "compliance to higher authorities before proceeding with any action".  

3. He was named the then-youngest billionaire in Singapore

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Above Image: Sim Wong Hoo/Facebook

In 2000, at the age of 45, Sim became the youngest billionaire in Singapore, thanks to his revolutionary Sound Blaster audio cards. First released in 1989, these sound cards quickly became the ‘de facto standard’ for consumer audio processing cards, setting the standard for PC audio, before the transition to Microsoft Windows 95. By 1995, over 15 million units were sold worldwide.

4. Creative Technologies began as a computer repairs shop

In 1975, Sim graduated from the electrical and electronic engineering faculty of Ngee Ann Polytechnic (previously known as Ngee Ann Technical College). There, he met Ng Kai Wa and opened Creative Technology in Pearl’s Centre, in Chinatown, in 1981. Sim began his career by developing and selling memory boards for the Apple II computer, and eventually created the iconic Sound Blaster audio cards.

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5. He has won various accolades for his revolutionary innovations

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Above Image: Sim Wong Hoo/Facebook

Over the years, Sim has received many awards from the industry and government, including the Singapore Public Star Medal in 2001 for outstanding achievements in the business field. In the same year, Sim had also ranked second in Asia’s Businessman of the Year by Fortune Magazine.

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