Mr. Guanglin Lai serves as our chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer. Mr. Lai is also a director of Brothers Capital Limited, which is our largest shareholder. Mr. Lai founded Aero-Biotech Group Limited, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Agria Corporation, in 2005 and is a director of this subsidiary. Mr. Lai devotes approximately 80% of his time to attend to our business affairs. Prior to that, in 2002, Mr. Lai founded Ace Choice Management Limited, a company that specializes in promoting business and investment activities between the PRC and other countries. From 2000 to 2002, Mr. Lai was managing director of Shenzhen Keding Venture Capital Management Co., Ltd., a venture investment management company. Mr. Lai is the chairman of the audit and nomination committees and a member of the remuneration committee of KXD Digital Entertainment Ltd., a Singapore-listed company that manufactures and sells audiovisual entertainment products. Mr. Lai holds a bachelorâ€™s degree in accounting from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia and is a certified public accountant in Australia.
Mr. Lee Joo Hai has served as an independent director since November 2008. Mr. Lee joined BDO Patrick Tay & Partners/BDO International Singapore in 1983, becoming a partner in 1986. He previously worked at Coopers & Lybrand (Singapore) and at Everett Chettle & Co. (London). He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales; Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore; Malaysian Institute of Accountants; and the Singapore Institute of Directors. Lee attended the Anglo-Chinese School (Singapore).
Mr. Terry McCarthy has served as an independent director since September 2007. He has been the chairman of audit committee for Solarfun Power Holdings, LTD since 2006, a NASDAQ listed company, as well as a director of another privately held company based in China. From 1985 to 2006, Mr. McCarthy worked for Deloitte & Touche LLP in San Jose, California in various roles as a managing partner, tax partner-in-charge and client services partner. From 1993 to 1995, he managed a national reengineering program and software development project for Deloitte and participated in the acquisition and development of Deloitteâ€™s tax software company. Beginning in 1999, he worked extensively with companies entering the China market and, from 2003 to 2006, he was deputy managing partner of the Deloitte US Chinese Services Group. In 1976, Mr. McCarthy co-founded Hayes, Perisho & McCarthy, Inc., a CPA firm in Silicon Valley in California, where he was an audit partner and president when the firm was sold to Touche Ross in 1985. From 1972 to 1976, he held several audit positions at Hurdman & Cranstoun, CPAs, including senior audit manager working with SEC and privately held clients. He received a bachelorâ€™s degree from Pennsylvania State University, an MBA degree from the University of Southern California and a masterâ€™s degree in taxation from Golden Gate University.
Mr. Sean Shao has served as an independent director since November 2008. Mr. Shao has served as chief financial officer of Trina Solar Limited, ChinaEdu Corporation, and Watchdata Technologies Ltd. He is currently the Audit Committee Chairman for two publicly-held companies: China Biologic Products, Inc. and China Public Security Technology, Inc. Earlier in his career, he was promoted to senior manager at Deloitte Touche (Beijing) after serving at Deloitte Touche (Toronto). Mr. Shao is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a master's degree in health care administration from the University of California at Los Angeles, and a bachelor's degree in art from East China Normal University.
Dr. Shangzhong Xu has served as our independent director since November 6, 2007. Dr. Xu has been the director of the Research Institute of Genetic Breeding and a researcher at the Beijing Research Institute of Husbandry Veterinary Science of the Chinese Agricultural Scientific Academy since 1978. Dr. Xu specializes in animal genetic breeding and its industrialization, breeding planning, breeder evaluation and marker genes. He established the open nucleus breeding system to conduct breeding selection. Dr. Xu has also been the managing director of the Generic Breeding Branch and Genetic Marker Branch of the China Husbandry Veterinary Science Association since 1989. Dr. Xu received his Ph.D degree in animal genetic breeding from Beijing Agricultural University and took advanced courses at Michigan State University.
Dr. Jiuran Zhao has served as our independent director since November 6, 2007. Since 1997, Dr. Zhao has served as the managing director of the Maize Center of the Agricultural and Forestry Scientific Research Academy in China. From 1986 to 1997, Dr. Zhao worked at the Crop Center of the Agricultural and Forestry Scientific Research Academy, where he began as a researcher, became a vice director and later became the director. Dr. Zhao specializes in the genetic breeding and industrialization of maize and other varieties of crops as well as DNA fingerprint techniques. He is also an agricultural consultant to the Beijing municipal government, the director of the maize expert group of Ministry of Culture of China, a vice director of the China Crop Association, the leader of the National Maize Cultivation Group, a member of the Examination Committee of the Plantation New Variety of Ministry of Culture and an expert for The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants. Dr. Zhao received his Ph.D. degree in crop generic breeding from China Agricultural University.
Mr. Gary Kim Ting Yeung has served as our chief financial officer since February 2007 and as our director since September 2007. Prior to joining us, Mr. Yeung was an audit senior manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, or PwC. Mr. Yeung worked at PwC from 1991 until January 2007. While at PwC, Mr. Yeung participated in various assignments, including statutory annual audits, financial due diligence and preparing PRC companies for listings of their shares on overseas markets such as the United States, Hong Kong and Singapore. Mr. Yeung is a fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. Mr. Yeung holds a bachelorâ€™s degree in accounting from the University of Ulster.
David M. Pasquale has served as our senior vice president since February 2008. He is responsible for developing, implementing and leading Agria's investor relations and corporate communications initiatives. Pasquale has wide-ranging investor relations, communications strategy, positioning and crisis communications experience working with U.S.-listed public companies domiciled in China, Singapore, Korea and Taiwan. He holds a Bachelor of Science, cum laude, from Providence College. Pasquale is an active member of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI).
U Kean Seng serves as our head of corporate and legal affairs effective December 5, 2008. He has extensive experience in advising multi-national corporations and sovereign entities on direct investments in The People's Republic of China as well as offshore mergers and acquisitions of foreign assets by The People's Republic of China entities. Mr. U is currently based in Singapore practicing in the firm of Shooklin & Bok LLP, focused on East Asia. Concurrently, since the establishment of joint law venture in 2000, he has practiced as part of Allen & Overy Shooklin & Bok, JLV, an international law venture partnership with London based Allen & Overy LLP.
Mr. U serves as a partner in pro-bono community legal services and sits as independent and non-executive directors of several public listed corporations. Mr U received Bachelor of Laws (Honours) degree from Monash University (Australia). He is a Barrister-and-Solicitor, Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia; Advocate & Solicitor, Supreme Court of Singapore. In addition to his extensive legal knowledge, Mr U is also a qualified Economist, having completed his degree majoring in Economics and Accounting, B Ec at Monash University, Australia.
Yue Zhao serves as our chief operating officer. Zhao earlier served as deputy general manager of Shenzhen Agria. He previously served as managing director of Yetop International Investment Co., Ltd. (Hong Kong), responsible for the firm's RMB 1 billion investment in the Chinese hydropower industry. Prior to that Zhao served as executive director and president of Lianhong Investment Co. Ltd, responsible for investments totaling more than RMB 441 million in land development, technology, chemicals and transportation. Zhao earlier served as vice president of Bossen International Ltd. (Hong Kong); executive vice president of Bocom Group (China); chief executive officer of Xiamen Headsun Intelligent Software Systems (China); Vice President of Compass Pacific Holdings Limited (Hong Kong); chief operating officer of Compass Pacific Automotive Co., Ltd.(China); and held executive level positions with Yatton Group (China), a subsidiary of Esquel Enterprises Ltd. (Hong Kong). Zhao holds a B.E. in Management Information Systems and a M.E. in Industrial Business Administration from Tsinghua University (Beijing). Zhao also received a Masters in Economics from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Dr. Juliana H. Xu has served as our chief technology officer since May 2007. Prior to joining us, from 2004 to 2005, she was a research scientist at Avon Products Inc.â€™s global research and development center where she led a team in charge of developing products for the Asian market. She also worked at TPG Growth Asia in 2006 and Tianjin Biochip Co., Ltd., a biotech company, in 2007 prior to joining us. Dr. Xu received her bachelor of science in biochemistry from Grove City College, Pennsylvania, an MBA degree from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and a Ph.D. degree in molecular biology from Cornell University.
Dr. Weizhong Wang has served as our chief strategy officer since July 2007. From 2000 to 2007, Dr. Wang served as chairman and president of Denong Seed Science and Technology Development Company, a company that engages in the development, production and marketing of corn, rice, cotton and other agricultural products in China. Dr. Wang holds a Ph.D. degree in agricultural economics from the Chinese Academy of Agriculture.