Lei Jun is a tech personality in Asia, often compared to Steve Jobs and he’s the one who founded Xiaomi four years ago. Forbes Asia deems him the Businessman of the Year 2014, in its latest edition.
Jun took the company from a small player on the Chinese market to a firm that will move 100 million smartphones in 2015. The company became the third biggest smartphone vendor at some point over the past weeks, only facing competition for that spot from the newly formed Lenovo/Motorola venture. Xiaomi’s performance was reached strictly based on the Asian market, with the company having yet to reach Europe and USA.
Xiaomi’s sales in the first half of 2014 reached $5.5 billion, beating all of 2013, when it had only $566 million. Lei Jun is only 45 years old and he’s the eighth richest man in China, worth $9.9 billion, but that doesn’t stop him from working 100 hours weeks. He also has a wife and two children and he’s a more localized man than Alibaba chief Jack Ma for example.
Jun doesn’t speak a foreign language and rarely travels outside China, but the man is still a legend internationally. Lei started his tech history with an early career at software maker Kingsoft in 1992 and became its CEO 6 years later, then lead it to the first IPO in 2007. And now he’s ready to take over the world of smartphones…