Evo Corporation is an AAA Megacorporation headquartered in Vladivostok, Russia. Its main focus is on biotechnology, nano-machines and ergonomic goods for metahumans. Though it is also a leading manufacturer of cyberware, genetech, aquatech, colonies, resorts and mass market goods and fashion. It is also particularly unique in that it has pioneered operations in space, being the first corporation to successfully establish a base on Mars. Evo can also be noted for being the only corporation to have a Free Spirit, Buttercup, as its dominant shareholder.
Evo (formerly Yamatetsu) came to prominence through the usual backstabbing and backroom maneuvers that are expected in this day and age. It attained AAA status within a decade of its founding, a tribute to the ruthlessness and tenacity of its founders. After visionary founder Tadamako Shibanokuji died, his son, Yuri (an Ork), inherited the chairmanship of the board of directors and promptly steered the company away from Japan due to the country’s perceived bigotry and prejudices at the time.
Whatever Yuri’s vision was, however, it was unlikely to be realised. In 2064 he was forced to leave the company to his CEO, Saru Iwano, after it was revealed that he was suffering from a genetic condition common in Orks known as Methuselah Syndrome. Aging at an accelerated pace, Yuri left to seek treatment. Not long after this blow, The Crash hit, and Evo’s (still Yamatetsu) network was one of the first to collapse. Chaos erupted within the corporation, communication was all but impossible. With members of the board dead and officials at every level of the company vying for power and control with no cohesive leadership, the entire corporation was set to collapse.
Amidst the chaos, Yuri resurfaced after receiving large amounts of stock from dead members of the board, and along with Buttercup revealed that they now held 51% of the company’s stock. In a brave and risky maneuver, they blamed the chaos and lack of direction on Saru Iwano. Many of the managers and directors that had been plotting for control in the chaos were former cohorts of Iwano, and so it became easy to convince the board of his guilt. Faced with the prospect of dishonour, Iwano performed seppuku.
Over the next two years the corporation was cleansed of its unfavourable members. A large number of executives and board members lost their positions. Some retired, some were ‘promoted’ to distant subsidiaries, some resigned quietly or after a scandal, and some suffered tragic accidents. Replacements were prompt and plentiful, and always on board with their chairman. How this was possible would be quite the mystery, at least in the public eye. It would be difficult to locate a shadowrunner active in those years who didn’t at some time or another do a job on such an executive or shareholder.
During this time, Anatoly Kirilenko was promoted to CEO despite having a minimal background in management. At one time he was a colonel in the Russian air force, and later the head of the very successful manned Mars mission, a project that had fueled the development of a great deal of new technology. Kirilenko was also the corporation’s first non-Japanese CEO, and was surrounded by rumours that he was related to the Vory (the Russian mafia). These rumours were shown to be unfounded, however.
As a grand finale to this drastic change in direction, Yamatetsu changed its name to Evo, plastering the world with the phrase ‘Evolve with Evo’ in one of the first AR advertising campaigns ever. This change also resulted in the creation of EvoCulture, a text that declares that all Evo citizens are created equal, whether wrapped in skin, scales, feathers, mana or data. Evo offices have been reported to encourage harmony by sponsoring a number of social activities, offering incentives to participate in Evo recreational sports leagues or all-employee clubs. In some cases, these incentives can nearly double a worker’s annual income. This policy also helps include people with less common phenotypes, such as centaurs or hobgoblins. The focus is on getting along, but while still encouraging healthy competition between employees. The more cynical of the shadowrunning community have been known to call these policies social engineering of near-Orwellian proportions.
In the public eye, Evo’s mix of Japanese and Russian business practices, as well as a focus on the customer’s success rather than the success of the company, has given Evo an excellent reputation among its clientele. Evo’s workers are offered augmentations to assist in their work at a significant discount, with packages and loans available to those in financial difficulties. A full ninety percent of Evo employees have some sort of implant or enhancements.
Shadowrunners doing jobs for Evo have often reported being offered or being able to bargain for augmentations (both cyberware and bioware) in place of nuyen. This has made them a very popular employer amongst street samurai, though only a runner fresh off the block would agree to such a deal without locating a contact to check the augmentations for unwanted additions. Evo is known to make fair offers, and one ’runner even reported that her Mr. Johnson apologized after screwing her team over.
Runners against Evo tend to quickly come up against augmented opposition and a wide variety of metahuman security forces, some of which employ tactics or skills that could easily catch an average runner off guard. Furthermore, due to its subsidiary CrashCart (a lesser known alternative to DocWagon), Evo has been known to significantly delay DocWagon entrance to their territories. This makes CrashCart the obvious choice when on Evo territory, as CrashCart has the advantage of not needing to ask for permission to enter Evo territory, greatly increasing their response times. This happy coincidence means that Evo can make quite a steady profit from failed shadowruns.
One of Evo’s public charity subsidiaries, New Outlook, seeks to better the lives of metahumans in Seattle, particularly within the Barrens. When one of its teams mysteriously disappeared in the Barrens, New Outlook hired the team to investigate. New Outlook’s Mr. Johnson was apparently a synthetic humanoid of some kind. Whether this is due to the team’s reputation for hard negotiations, or simply a result of Evo’s projects, is unclear.
Eric Daedalus is a Division Manager at Evo.