Cher Wang

Co-founder and chairperson of HTC

An October 2008 New York Times article described Cher Wang as one of the most powerful female executives in technology whom you have never heard of. We'd like to see that change.

Wang is the co-founder and chairperson of HTC, a phone manufacturer that is quickly becoming a household name. Although HTC has been in the cell phone business for a number of years, it only recently starting manufacturing devices that carry the HTC brand. Of course, one of the company's biggest recent launches was the G1, which it debuted in the fall with T-Mobile USA. The G1 was the first smartphone to use the Google Android operating system.

Wang is a member of a well-known technology dynasty in Taiwan. Her father, Wang Yung-Ching, founded the plastics and petrochemicals firm Formosa Plastics Group, and was considered one of the richest men in Taiwan. Her sister started First International Computer, which makes motherboards.

Wang founded HTC in 1997 as a maker of notebook computers. A few years later the company decided to focus on handheld devices instead. Indeed, the company was the first to build a phone using Microsoft's operating system for smartphones, and remains a major Windows Mobile supporter.

Wang, who is known for her relentless work ethic and negotiating prowess, was also instrumental in getting Google to agree to let HTC build the first Android-based cell phone. That move put HTC in the spotlight in 2009 and has competitors wondering what the smartphone maker will do next.

Cher Wang