Charles B. Wang (in Chinese: 王嘉廉, Wáng Jiālián) (born August 19, 1944 in Shanghai, China) is the co-founder of Computer Associates International, Inc. (now CA, Inc.) and owner of the New York Islanders. Although born in Shanghai, he moved to Queens, New York, when he was eight years old. He attended the elite Brooklyn Technical High School in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. He earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Queens College in New York, and began working at Columbia University. In 1976, Wang started Computer Associates on credit cards at the age of 31. He has since authored two books to help executives master technology: Techno Vision (1994, McGraw-Hill) and Techno Vision II (1997, McGraw-Hill). Wang retired from Computer Associates in 2002.
He is currently the majority owner of the New York Islanders hockey franchise, which he became a part-owner in 2000. He later bought out the share of business partner Sanjay Kumar in 2004, and acquired the New York Dragons Arena football franchise. He is the master developer of the Lighthouse, the transformation of the Nassau Coliseum and surrounding 150 acre. The project will include a five-star hotel; condominiums; an Athletic Complex featuring four ice rinks, a basketball facility and state-of-the-art health club that will serve as the Islanders’ practice facility and also be open to the public; a Sports Technology Center; open air plaza; and conference center.
He is also founder of Plainview Properties, a real estate firm which recently announced a major development in Plainview, New York: Old Plainview - a traditional village combining townhouses, apartments, offices, restaurants, a Hyatt hotel and recreation space using “smart growth” concepts. Residents of Plainview, headed by the group Concerned Citizens of Plainview-Old Bethpage, have resisted the project from the start.
Charles Wang and ice hockey[edit | edit source]
New York Islanders[edit | edit source]
Wang has received praise for his willingness to spend money with the goal of making the Islanders competitive; previous ownership groups had not. He also has a reputation for making decisions that go against conventional wisdom. Occasionally these unorthodox decisions, such as hiring Ted Nolan as coach, receive praise. Others inspire criticism that Wang is being contrarian for its own sake and not following logic or reason.
After hiring Neil Smith as the general manager for the New York Islanders during the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals, Wang fired him 40 days later and gave the job to Garth Snow, who retired from his position as the team's backup goalie to take the job. Wang said that "philosophical differences" were the basis for firing Smith. This series of personnel moves inspired a critical and incredulous reaction from hockey journalists.
On September 12, 2006, Wang and GM Snow signed goaltender Rick DiPietro to a 15-year, $67.5 million contract. The length of the deal, as well as Wang's signing of Alexei Yashin to a 10-year contract a few years before, have added to controversy.
A Forbes article investigated why certain NHL franchises could remain profitable despite poor attendance and overall league unprofitability. They found that several league owners underreported their cable broadcast revenue; they specifically accused Wang of excluding half of the $17 million paid to the Islanders for the 2003 cable broadcast season.
Wang has threatened to move the Islanders if the redevelopment plan for the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (titled the "Lighthouse Project") is not approved by Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead.
Project Hope[edit | edit source]
Wang created in 2006 the Charles B. Wang Ice Hockey Project Hope, a project aiming at the development of ice hockey in China. Focused in and around the Heilongjiang province, especially cities of Harbin and Qiqihar, Wang and the New York Islanders invest in the development of ice hockey in a region where the sport already has some foothold, with, as ultimate goal, providing young Chinese athletes with access to educational opportunities and cultural exchanges.
Enrolled athletes in the program will play in youth hockey programs affiliated to the New York Islanders and will be required to study English as part of the regular curriculum. English exams will be underwent by students on a regular basis, and the project aims at making them perfectly fluent English speakers and writers. This fluency is required in order for the students to be eligible for scholarships allowing them to continue their education in the United States.
[edit | edit source]
- Ice Capades — from Forbes (November 29, 2004)
- Smith's firing just the latest odd move by Isles' Wang — from SI.com (July 19, 2006)
- Charles Wang is sending waves through the hockey world — from CBC Television
- Project Hope's website
References[edit | edit source]
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