Min Kao

About Min Kao

Who is it?: Chairman and CEO, Garmin Corporation
Birth Year: 1949
Birth Place: Leawood, Kansas, United States
Residence: Leawood, Kansas, U.S. 15 Central Park West, Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Alma mater: National Taiwan University (BS) University of Tennessee (MS; PhD)
Occupation: Co-founder of Garmin
Known for: co-founder of the Garmin GPS company
Children: 2, including Jen Kao

Min Kao

Min Kao was born on 1949 in Leawood, Kansas, United States, is Chairman and CEO, Garmin Corporation. Min Kao cofounded GPS maker Garmin with Gary Burrell in 1989, after the duo led development of the first GPS navigator at Allied Signal. Kao stepped down as CEO in 2012 but remains executive chairman and a member of the board. The company has delivered over 173 million products so far. Garmin has brought GPS navigation and wearable technology to the automotive, outdoor, fitness, aviation, and marine markets. Kao came to the U.S. from Taiwan in the 1970s and got a master's and a Ph.D. in engineering at the University of Tennessee.
Min Kao is a member of Manufacturing

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Min H. Kao was born in 1949 in a small town in Taiwan called Zhushan in Nantou. He graduated from the National Taiwan University in Taiwan and earned a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee.


In 1989, with Gary Burrell, Kao co-founded Garmin, a company best known for Manufacturing Global Positioning System.


In 2005, Kao gave $17.5 million to the College of Engineering of the University of Tennessee, $12.5 million of which was designated for the construction of a new facility. In May 2007, groundbreaking ceremonies were conducted for the new Min Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building. The building was dedicated in March 2012.


Kao is married to Fan Kao. They have a son, Ken Kao, who is a film Producer, and a daughter, Jen Kao, who is a fashion designer. They reside in Leawood, Kansas. In 2011, he purchased an apartment in 15 Central Park West, Manhattan, New York City.


In 2015, Kao donates $1 million to the Kansas State University College of Engineering for building four labs.

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