Who is Hock Tan, Broadcom CEO and new Meta Board Member?

With Broadcom CEO Hock Tan appointed to Meta’s board to help it advance its AGI goals, we explore how Tan's business strategy has led to dramatic growth

Broadcom CEO and President Hock Tan has been announced as a new member of Meta’s board of directors.

Having served as Broadcom’s CEO since 2006, Tan has transformed the company into a heavyweight in the world of computer-chip design, and a rising superpower in the Fortune 500.

In a statement, Meta Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Tan’s deep expertise would help the company as it focuses on building Artificial General Intelligence (AGI).

“I am pleased to join the Meta Board and contribute to achieving the company's vision,” said Tan. “Meta has an incredible role to play in the next-generation of computing as it evolves its platform and apps offerings for the future. I look forward to working with Mark, the broader team and the other Board members on Meta's technology and business journey.”

Here, we highlight the Malaysian-born businessman’s career and how he has helped Broadcom grow through intelligent business decisions and bold acquisitions.

Broadcom strategy has seen growth by high-profile acquisitions

Born in the Malaysian state of Penang, Tan moved to the US in 1971, having obtained a scholarship to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as reported by Business Chief. In 1975, Tan graduated from MIT with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering; that same year, he became a Master in the same subject. He later attended Harvard Business School and earned his MBA in 1979.

After stints in senior management positions at General Motors and PepsiCo, Tan became Managing Director at Malaysia-based Hume Industries from 1983, before taking up the same position at Pacven Investment, a venture capital firm which he co-founded in Singapore, in 1988. 

He joined Commodore International – best known for its home computers – as its Vice President of Finance four years later, before joining Integrated Circuit Systems (ICS) as its President and CEO in 1999.

The sale of ICS to Integrated Device Technology in 2005 saw him become the latter’s Executive Chairman, and then, when Avago announced it was purchasing Broadcom Corporation in a US$37bn deal in 2015, it was rebranded as Broadcom Ltd (later changed to Broadcom Inc) and Tan assumed the role of President and CEO. 

Since becoming CEO of Broadcom, Tan’s strategy has seen the business focus on a number of high-profile acquisitions: growing rapidly through acquisitions of semiconductor designer LSI and the tech giant Brocade. 

The company hit headlines in 2017 when it made a US$103bn bid to buy rival firm Qualcomm, with then-President Donald Trump ultimately blocking the mega-merger on the grounds of national security. As reported by Business Chief, this came against the backdrop of a series of bitter court cases which had involved both companies a decade earlier. 

Most recently, Broadcom finalised the US$61bn acquisition of cloud computing firm VMware in November 2023, in one of the largest deals in technology history. With the deal being approved by regulators, Tan said the deal would enable the company to provide “best-in-class solutions for our customers, partners and the industry”.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Tan pledged further acquisitions in the near future, while revealing he plans to stay on as CEO for at least another five years.

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