Silas Chou, PAR'14
President and CEO
Novel Enterprises Limited

Wharton Speaker >> Biography

Mr. Chou began his career nearly 40 years ago working within his Hong Kong-based family business, Novel Enterprises Limited, one of the world’s leading vertically-integrated textile and apparel manufacturers, where he now serves as President and CEO.
In 1978, Mr. Chou supported Mr. Kuang-Piu Chao, his father, in the establishment of Xiang Zhou Woolen Mills in the Zhuhai Special Economy District. This project marked the start of “Compensation Trade” in PRC and pioneered foreign private investment in China.
In 1984, Mr. Chou was actively engaged with his family in the establishment of Dragonair. Nowadays, Dragonair is an award-winning international airline operating passenger and all-cargo services from the aviation hub of Hong Kong.
In 1989, Mr. Chou formed Sportswear Holdings Limited with another partner, Mr. Lawrence Stroll, to acquire Tommy Hilfiger Corporation. He served as Chairman and then Co-Chairman from 1989 to 2002. It grew from a $25 million U.S. men’s apparel company to a multinational $2 billion dollar brand in just eight years, and is considered one of the major success stories of the industry in recent history.
In 2003, Sportswear Holdings completed one of its most dynamic acquisitions to date when it purchased a majority interest in Michael Kors Corporation, of which Mr. Chou is Director. Michael Kors is recognized as one of America’s pre-eminent designers for luxury sportswear. This brand name currently produces a range of products through Michael Kors Collection, KORS Michael Kors and MICHAEL Michael Kors labels, including men’s and women’s ready to wear, women’s accessories and a full line of fragrance and beauty products for both men and women.
Parallell to its previous ownership of Tommy Hilfiger, and current stake in Michael Kors, Sportswear Holdings also acquired Pepe Jeans London Corporation in 1991, of which Mr. Chou was Chairman from 1992 through 1998.
In addition to its traditional business, Mr. Chou is also actively involved in strategically investing Sportswear Holdings’ and the Novel Group’s capital in alternative investments, including private equity, hedge funds, venture capital, real estate development, biotechnology, telecommunication and media technology, and other industries.

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