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CES 2014: Singaporean behind transforming webOS into LG's Smart TV platform

Published on Jan 8, 2014 1:06 PM
Singaporean Mr Colin Zhao, 31, (pictured with a LG Smart TV running webOS) is the head of product management at LG Silicon Valley Lab, who transformed the dead mobile operating system webOS into LG Smart TV platform. -- ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN

LAS VEGAS – LG made headlines when it announced that it had rebooted dead mobile operation system, webOS, for its new Smart TV platform at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). But little was known that the man behind webOS’s dramatic makeover is a 31-year-old Singaporean, Mr Colin Zhao.

Mr Zhao, a Raffles Junior College alumnus, is the head of product management at LG Silicon Valley Lab, the division that comprises the webOS team. “My job is to formulate the vision, define the product and use my expertise in working across inter-disciplinary teams to turn that vision into reality for LG Smart TVs with webOS,” he said.

Educated in Cornell University and Stanford University, Mr Zhao worked at Yahoo before joining HP as director of product management of webOS in 2011 and helped in launching the webOS-based TouchPad tablet.

When webOS was acquired by LG in the end of February last year, Mr Zhao and his team began working in secret to turn the mobile operating system into a Smart TV platform. “It was a great learning experience as we need to move from manipulation touch paradigm to distance control paradigm,” Mr Zhao said.