Boonsiri Somchit (centre) and her family.
Boonsiri Somchit casts a long shadow; she has spent almost two decades as vice president of US semiconductor giant AMD. In 2016 she decided it was time to write a leadership book: When the Chicken Dies Everyone Cries recounts how her childhood in the kampung provided her with leadership skills. How did Boonsiri overcome her challenges and what is the “Art of menggoreng”? Penang Monthly finds out.
What inspired you to write When the Chicken Dies Everyone Cries?
In May 2015 I was invited to speak at TEDxWeldQuay. The theme was “Momentum”. I decided that it was time to open up about my failure at the age of 17. Of course, I was terrified that the audience would peg me as a fraud when they heard that I could not even make it into any local universities. I was afraid they’d laugh at me. But that day, I shared how my failure to gain admission into local varsities became my strength and how it taught me grit and resilience. My failure was my momentum moment.
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