AST and SAS  

We returned to U.S. in about 10 years. I came back first from July as business trips for most of times going back and forth between Seoul and Irvine, California staying in hotel in Irvine and we actually moved to California in November 1996. Therefore, it was about 2 months shorter than 10 years as we moved to Korea in Jan. 1987.

In AST Computers, I was the Vice President in charge of Quality while I was still Sr. Director officially in Samsung. The way AST was purchased by Samsung was another typical Samsung style. I heard it was NCR perhaps which approached to Samsung to propose the sale of one of their subsidiary Maxtor. However, as it seemed to be unprofitable and hopeless company, SEC management didn¡¯t buy it but Hyundai bought it instead. When Mr. Emperor of Samsung heard about the story, he was so mad as Hyundae bought an American company before Samsung did. Samsung had to look for other American company on sale and bought AST in hurry just to make their Emperor happy trusting an American agent company as there is no one in Samsung could understand the American balance sheet well enough.

As the result, Samsung had to find out the financial situation of AST was much worse than they thought after they bought it. They sent a Korean General Manager with American citizenship expecting he would understand American management well. However, his background was R&D without company management experience and the attempt had failed. Then Samsung sent another typical Samsung man who didn¡¯t know anything about America, didn¡¯t speak English at all but just pushing people hard just as he did in Saqmsung in Korea. Well, there was no way it would work in United States resulting to loose about a million dollar a day every day and couldn¡¯t last too long.

Samsung had to sell AST about year later with a lot of loss and I worked in AST less than a year therefore. I couldn¡¯t do much in less than a year though AST product quality was improved meantime. It was hard to say whether it was success or failure as the products didn¡¯t sell well any way and it was to short time to improve quality fundamentally for me.

We lived in a rent house in a hill of Corona del Mar near Newport Beach overlooking Pacific and whole Irvine city. It was a standard 3 bed room house but the view was gourgeous. I have never seen such a wonderful view even at the rosort hotel anywhere in the world I have ever stayed. We could see Parles Verdes known as one of the richest city of L. A. area to north, Santa Ana with Disneyland, Irvine city and great view of Pacific Ocean to the west with Catalina Island far a way. Night view was even more fantastic. I always loved the house with great view and rented this house just looking at once. (Terese and Carole, the daughters of my second sister lived also near-by.)

Because of this wonderful view, I wanted to buy this house once and retire there while I lived there. I met the owner and discussed about the sale. However, I gave up by various reasons, such as it was too far from our children and there is no old friend around at all etc., and ended up not to buy it. But I still miss the house.

I worked less than a year only for AST and was asked to go to Austin, Texas this time as Samsung built a semiconductor wafer fab factory there very recently. We moved to Austin and worked for SAS, Samsung Austin Semiconductors, as VP Quality again.

As it was a semiconductor factory, there were many fellows I worked together at Semiconductors Division and it was very familiar operation with familiar people.

I enjoyed the life there for just little over six months as there was so-called IMF turbulence started in Korea facing very serious financial hardship for every company in Korea. Samsung also had no choice but to reduce cost and eliminate a lot of special benefits for directors. Well, I was working for Samsung enjoying all these benefits and why should I work further under this kind of situation? Since Samsung was going to pay 6 months extra pay for any director to quit, I quit Samsung and retired finally. It was Feb. 1998, after 11 years and 3 months in Samsung and 40 years since I was graduated from college, and I was 63 years and 4 months old.

We lived little over 6 months only in Austin, Texas. We lived in a company paid apartment for the first couple months and bought a house, which had to be sold in less than 6 months. However I was lucky enough again that I could still make some money as house market in Austin sky rocketted mean time. I had a country club membership there, played golf almost every weekends and enjoyed life there well though it was too short period.

Because I wanted to retire sooner or later already, I purchased the membership of Castlewood Country Club in this area, where I am a member now, in March 1994 already and this house I am living now and only 15 minutes driving distance from the Castlewood Country Club, in April 1997 to be prepared for the retirement well in advance.

Therefore, there was nothing to prepare in addition. We just sold the house in Austin in less than a month, packed and shipped all households to here, drove from Austin to Fremont stopping in Phenix where I have an old friend, played golf with him, stopped in L.A. to see Johnny and came back to bay area. Meantime, our shipment arrived at almost same time and we could start the retired life very smoothly this way just as I had planned.