How did Koo rise to this position? “My parents were both illiterate immigrants from China to the US and I was the first in my family to get a formal education. Winning scholarships to attend UCLA Engineering and Columbia Business School, served to finally break my family’s cycle of poverty and changed my life’s trajectory,” she explained of her humble beginnings.
Asked about what worries her and what she’s optimistic about in the world today, Koo says, “I worry about my children entering the US after growing up in Singapore. Different from previous generations, it will be more difficult for them to do better than their parents. But I am optimistic as this new generation cares deeply about making the world a better place.”
What will she be doing 10 years from now? “I grew up extremely poor in South Central Los Angeles during the Watts Riots where I was bullied a great deal as the non-black girl in my neighbourhood and school. In 10 years time, I hope to become a philanthropist after selling CXA to help others escape the poverty trap and also to develop more female entrepreneurs.”
When she isn’t working, Koo spends time with her husband and 2 teenagers, plays tennis and snowboards. She also enjoys reading about – what else? – leadership and entrepreneurship.