Where in the World is Amphenol LTW’s Luc Kan?

By Amy Goetzman | April 23, 2024

Amphenol LTW’s GM Luc Kan travels for work half of the year. Learn what keeps this connector entrepreneur and road warrior excited about technology — and how he stays serene while always in motion.

Under the guidance of General Manager Luc Kan, Amphenol LTW has enjoyed a meteoric rise. Founded in 1993 as a waterproof connector specialist, the company quickly rose to prominence for its harsh environment solutions and its huge range of circular connectors — the largest in the industry. One of the connector world’s great entrepreneurs, Kan has been with the company for more than 20 years and has guided the company through its acquisition by Amphenol in 2010, its expansion to four countries, continuous portfolio growth, and the pandemic, all before its 30th anniversary in 2023.

Kan has inspired a culture of innovation that has helped LTW grow 170% since the acquisition, file more than 300 patents, create new software tools that enable customers to customize and locate parts, and reduce the company’s energy consumption by 89% using company products and expertise in a company-wide quest to conserve resources and fight climate change.

He is also one of the industry’s busiest road warriors, spending 50% of his time traveling for work. When we talked, Kan was visiting a distributor in Chicago; next he’ll be in Phoenix to visit another; after that, he’ll spend two weeks in Nogales at Amphenol’s Mexico manufacturing plant. Kan takes the stress of travel in stride, however; a true citizen of the world, he wants to have a global impact, and that requires spending time with LTW’s Amphenol’s global network of employees, customers, and manufacturers.

He credits his work ethic and entrepreneurial energy to his parents and his background as an immigrant. When Kan was seven years old, his family fled Cambodia during dictator Pol Pot’s devastating civil war, which ultimately led to the murder of two million people. “Everything I go through today is nothing compared to what we went through,” he said. “As someone who, with my family, survived the horror of Cambodia’s mass genocide, famine, and hardship, nothing could be worse; therefore, everything else is simply ‘no big deal.'”

Kan’s family landed in France, where he received a traditional French education and a degree in international trade and marketing; he considers French his “mother tongue.” Next, he said, “I have to see the world.” He studied English and worked in the United States and the UK, and moved to Taiwan, where he studied Chinese and took a job at a 3C connector and cable assemblies trading company, which introduced him to the world of interconnects. From there, he joined LTW as a sales assistant, rose to executive sales within a few months, left briefly in 2008, and returned as VP of sales, becoming general manager in 2010.

Joining Amphenol

After three attempts to acquire LTW Technology Co., Amphenol finally succeeded in its quest to acquire the company in 2009. “I worked behind the scenes to help facilitate the acquisition,” said Kan. LTW had become known for its waterproof and harsh environment solutions, and Amphenol wanted a company in Asia. “They believed that LTW had good products, good technology, and great potential, if you added the name of Amphenol onto it. Being part of Amphenol enables LTW to play in the international arena and gives us access to customers that we previously could not, being simply a Taiwanese company. Building a brand takes a lot of energy and resources, so now being part of the Amphenol brand definitely has advantages and helps us grow even more quickly.”

Even so, Kan says Amphenol allows its companies to operate independently in many ways, preserving the unique identity that led to their original success. Customization is part of LTW’s identity; over 70% of the company’s solutions have at least some element of customization.

“We live and breathe that. One day I met a customer at a trade show, and he’s doing safety lighting for workers. They make an innovative product with 360 degree, magnetic positioning angled to project the light where you need it — you can stick it anywhere. They needed an interconnect that corresponded with the environment; it needed to be waterproof, ruggedized, and drop-proof. They started to choose a standard off-the-shelf product, but their design was so innovative that the standard interconnect did not fit quite right and could not be easily replaced. I asked them, ‘What problem do you have? What are you trying to achieve? Why do you need to design this way?’ And at the end of the day, we designed a customized connector and tie enclosure for the customer.”

Today, LTW’s expertise is part of the vast knowledge and resources that exist in Amphenol’s more than 145 business units. “Each in their own way is unique, so you can really learn from each other. Also, because of Amphenol’s structure, you can easily have production anywhere your customer needs, at the very lowest cost, and the fastest possible.”

Luc says the merging of the two companies has not always been easy, especially when difficult decisions need that be made. “The right things must be done, even if it is unpopular, difficult, and no one wants to do it. It is a continuous and endless process of building a brand identity which is synonymous with innovation that ultimately will provide value and solutions to our customers’ problems.”

Amphenol LTW’s latest circular connector release is a heavy duty M12 for high-temperature applications.

Kan says the year to come will bring even more products and solutions, plus a manufacturing expansion into Europe, extending LTW’s footprint to be closer to more customers.

About that travel schedule… 

When he’s not traveling between Asia, Europe, and North America, Kan lives in Taiwan, overseeing Amphenol LTW’s headquarters. Prior to Taiwan, he spent three months in San Francisco and almost two years in the UK, and he spent almost a year and half in the Philippines. In each region, he worked hard to learn new languages. “Unfortunately, I speak only three fluently and three more at beginner level. My father speaks eight languages, though.”

The rigorous schedule makes it hard for him to exercise. but he’s mindful of taking care of himself so he can take care of his family and his company. He enjoys music, movies, reading, and spending time in nature to offset the stress of travel. Exercise can be difficult when he’s on the road, so he tries to eat mindfully.

Ultimately, Kan wants to leave a positive impact that extends beyond Amphenol LTW. “We are in the revolution that is EVs, AI, and digital infrastructure that I hope can make a difference. My goal is to help solve urban congestion and safety problems, as well as housing and food safety issues, before I leave this world to my kids.”

Learn more about Luc Kan on Amphenol’s the Interface podcast, see the company’s famous Lunar New Year videos on YouTube, and see the industry’s largest selection of circular connectors and more at Amphenol LTW.

Like this article? Check out our other Connector Basics articles, our Medical Market Page, and our 2024 Article Archive

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Like this article? Check out our other Connector Basics articles, our Medical Market Page, and our 2024 Article Archive

Subscribe to our weekly e-newsletters, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, and check out our eBook archives for more applicable, expert-informed connectivity content.

Amy Goetzman
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