We are very pleased to announce that Leo Li will be the new CEO of Imagination Technologies, the first acquisition of Canyon Bridge. He started on April 3.
Imagination is a UK-based, global leader in graphics, vision, connectivity, and AI IP for the semiconductor industry, with world-class products, technology, and talent. After reviewing strategic options in 2017, the company committed to charting a new course in order to thrive in the rapidly evolving global semiconductor market.
Partnering with Canyon Bridge was the first step to putting itself back on a growth track. At Canyon Bridge, our strategy is a bit different from that of many other private equity firms. Where others focus on financial engineering and leverage, our approach is to help portfolio companies grow organically by investing in technology and talent, and leveraging Canyon Bridge’s deep experience and strong relationships globally to tap into fast-growing markets.
Bringing on Leo as CEO is the next step in positioning Imagination for future success. He’s highly experienced—and highly respected—in the semiconductor industry. He was chairman, CEO, and president of Spreadtrum Communications, which produces chipsets for mobile phones. During his nine-year tenure at Spreadtrum, he drove a focus on continuous innovation, quality control, and customer relationship management that helped turn Spreadtrum into a global semiconductor player while growing revenue from $100 million to $2 billion, and increasing the company’s market value from $35 million to $7.5 billion.
Before Spreadtrum, Leo was CEO at Magicomm, a California-based cell phone product development company. Earlier in his career, he served as senior business development director at Broadcom, where he managed a GSM/GPRS/EDGE/WCDMA baseband line of business; as general manager and then VP at Mobilink Telecom, a GSM baseband startup acquired by Broadcom in 2002; and in engineering and program management positions at Rockwell Semiconductor and Ericsson.
Leo has a BS from the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, an MS from the Institute of Electronics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland, and an MBA from National University in La Jolla, California. He holds 14 patents in wireless communications systems, RF IC system and circuit
design, and RFID applications.
As if all that weren’t impressive enough, Leo also currently serves as chair of the Global Semiconductor Alliance, an industry group whose members include many existing Imagination customers, and which is focused on expanding cooperation and innovation in the semiconductor industry. The position was previously held by Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm.
His 30 years of experience and outstanding track record make Leo the ideal CEO for Imagination. He combines a proven ability to drive innovation with a truly global perspective that comes from having lived and worked extensively in the U.S. as well as in China. Leo is based at the Imagination headquarters in London, and as he begins his tenure at Imagination will be focused on building out the company’s already world-class talent base, expanding R&D capabilities, and selling into new markets.
With Leo at the helm, we’re confident that Imagination will be well positioned to grow again, introduce innovative products, and develop new channels for growth. We welcome Leo to Imagination, and look forward to working with him.