Jan. 17 – Jack Perkowski; the founder and chairman of ASIMCO Technologies, has left the company. In a statement issued to ASIMCO employees, president and CEO Gary Riley announced that “effective immediately,” Leland Lewis would replace Perkowski on the board and assume the role of non-executive chairman of the board of directors.
The announcement brings to a close a 15 year ASIMCO adventure for Perkowski, who founded the auto component manufacturing company with the backing of Wall Street and whose exploits and problems were described in the best selling book “Mr. China.”
The book, by Tim Clissold, himself an ex-ASIMCO employee, was described by the author as “dealing with a society that had no rules; or more accurately, plenty of rules but they were seldom enforced. China appeared to be run by masterful showmen: appearances mattered more than substance, rules were there to be distorted and success came through outfacing an opponent.”
ASIMCO’s first ventures into China saw them lose some US$400 million. Perkowski however was able to bounce back and secure additional funding, with his book “Managing the Dragon” also making the best seller lists, and updating the story, this time with considerably more corporate success.
Perkowski, who was said to be retiring to “pursue other interests,” leaves ASIMCO having established the business as a major force in auto component supplies, and the company continues to be supported by institutional investors. While figures for 2008 looked positive and turnover reached close to US$500 million, a decline globally in auto and related sales have impacted upon the business. The company currently has 17 factories in China, and regional offices in the United States, Japan, and Europe.
“Jack and sat on an executive panel discussion for China SMEs in Beijing just yesterday morning,” said Chris Devonshire-Ellis, senior partner for Dezan Shira & Associates. “He told me he would be spending Chinese New Year in Africa with the Young Presidents Organization, which is somewhat typical of his immediate dynamism and generosity in business towards sharing his China experiences with other executives. I am sure he will be back to China in one form or another and we wish him well in the meantime.”