Warburg Pincus hires tech specialist

Former Netscape and Yahoo! executive Savio Chow joins the private equity firm to seek out target companies.
Warburg Pincus has hired Savio Chow as a full-time consultant to help pinpoint potential targets and manage the firm's portfolio of tech companies.

Chow's background as an executive at Yahoo! and Netscape makes him ideal for the job, says Chang Sun, managing director of Warburg Pincus in Hong Kong. "He will be helping us to find deals, but also to work with our existing investments," says Sun. "His experience at running a business will mean that he can offer strategic advice to our companies on any part of their operations. If revenues need boosting he can suggest ways to strengthen their sales efforts. He will also help us to improve internal controls within each of our portfolio companies."

Chow's previous job was managing director and vice president of Yahoo! Asia, and before that he was managing director for North Asia at Netscape. But he also has an engineering and programming background, having worked for Lotus many years ago.

Sun says Chow will be focusing on tech prospects in Japan, India, China and Korea. And while Warburg Pincus does invest in some distressed assets, his mandate will be to find good companies with a good growth story to tell. "We are not turnaround specialists," says Sun.

Warburg Pincus is not new to investing in tech companies. More than 30% of its Asian portfolio is invested in the sector.