AAPI Heritage Month: Zoom CEO Eric Yaun
Posted on 24th May 2021 18:05:17 in General

Photo Credit: Kena Betancur, 2019 Getty Images 

For the next Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month spotlight, Tech Reboot will be focusing on someone who has made it possible for us and millions of others to stay connected no matter what. 

Since last year, people have virtually been forced to move their entire lives online. Despite the world's condition, people were still able to attend work meetings, complete their classes, and reunite with family members for celebratory moments thanks to Zoom and Eric Yaun. 

Eric Yaun is the founder and CEO of Zoom Video Communications, a video chat software. As of April 2021, over 300 million people use Zoom. 

There are other video conferencing programs like Skype and Google Duo, but Zoom surpasses them all in terms of performance and accessibility. 

So how did Zoom get its start and suddenly rise to popularity within a year?

Keep reading to find out how it was all done! 

About Eric Yaun

The son of two geology engineers, Yaun was born and raised in Tai'an, Shandong province, China. His upbringing influenced his future endeavors and education, which have led to the launch of his career.  

  • Bachelor’s Degree in applied mathematics, minor in computer application from Shandong University of Science and Technology

  • Masters Degree in geology engineering from China University of Mining and Technology 

  • Completed an executive program at Stanford University in 2006

While in his first year of university in 1987, his long-distance relationship with his girlfriend inspired him to create a videotelephony software that would enable him to “visit” her without having to take a 10-hour train ride. 

This was just the start of what would soon become Zoom.

In 1997, Yuan moved to Silicon Valley to be a part of the tech boom after being influenced by Bill Gates, who spoke two years prior at a training program in Japan. He was so eager to move that he applied nine times before being granted a visa. 

When he arrived in California, Yuan joined one of the first 20 hires at WebEx, a web conferencing startup. Cisco Systems acquired WebEx in 2007 and he became vice president of engineering.  

In 2011, he pitched Zoom Video Communications to his management, but the idea was rejected. 

Yuan decided to leave his company shortly after to fully Zoom, which is now one of the most successful smartphone-friendly video conferencing systems in the world. 

Recognition and Accomplishments 

Yaun became a billionaire in 2019, when Zoom went public, now worth $14.6 billion. He was named the Times Businessperson of the Year in 2020 and was included in the Times 100 Most Influential People in 2020.

Without the contribution of Eric Yaun and Zoom, the world would be extremely disconnected.