Granville Global executive David Chow arrived in Genoa City as a man with a mission to bring justice to his former love Carmen Mesta by making sure the police arrested her killer. Because Carmen had sent David a tape showing Drucilla Winters attacking Carmen for "messing with her man, Neil”, David was convinced that Dru was Carmen's killer. But David was unable to convince the police, so he hatched a plan to gas-light Dru by using Carmen's lookalike cousin, Inez. Dru's family thought that Dru was losing her mind because she had been seeing Carmen, and they had Dru temporarily committed pending a competency hearing. After Jana Hawkes confessed to killing Carmen, David and Inez appeared at Dru's competency hearing, and vindicated her. However, David never revealed he was the one behind the gas-lighting.
David arranged to stay in Genoa City as liaison between Granville Global and Newman Enterprises, but the job was short-lived. As part of a plot to bring down Jack Abbott, Victor convinced Jack to run for the Wisconsin State Senate, intending to make sure that Jack left office in disgrace. Nikki was in on it, but in her anger at being passed over as a board member of Newman in favor of Neil, she decided to run against Jack. Victor knew David had been a well-regarded political campaign manager in the past, so he offered to pay David twice his Granville Global salary if he would sign on as Jack Abbott's campaign manager. David took the job, and showed his ruthlessness by coming up with underhanded methods to put Jack ahead of his opponent, Nikki Newman, which included exposing Nikki's porn film 'Hot Hips' on the Internet to discredit her, so Jack fired him. Then Nikki hired him to pull the same sort of tricks on Jack.
David continued his tactics for Nikki's campaign with a falsified video that showed Jack making a deal with a mob family to build a casino in Clear Springs. David always had a plan to counter every move that Jack made, and Nikki had begun to lead in the polls.
David fell for Nikki, who was having problems with her marriage to Victor, due to the campaign and the presumed death of their son, Nick. Victor left Genoa City to search for his other son Victor Jr., who was missing in Sri Lanka, and would not return Nikki's calls. As Nikki became lonely and stressed during the campaign, she and David grew closer. They kissed in Nikki's office, unaware that Sharon Abbott and Phyllis Newman had set up a spy camera in the office. The video of David and Nikki's kiss was put on the web, and Victor saw it, which further widened the gap between Victor and Nikki.
Nikki's campaign ran into trouble due to the kiss video, and she narrowly lost the election to Jack Abbott. Nikki’s campaign manager, Karen Taylor, criticized David for giving in to his passions, and implied that this was typical of David, that he had damaged previous campaigns with the same behavior. After Nikki lost the election, she hired David to work for her company N.V.P.
Victor Newman returned and warned Nikki about David, citing David's history of three marriages to wealthy woman, two of whom left him a widower, and that David’s last marriage had ended in divorce because of his affair with fellow Granville Global employee Carmen Mesta. Nikki claimed that nothing was going on between her and David, and at the time this was true, but Victor did not believe her. Their marriage continued to suffer and after the separation, Nikki began a relationship with David, and the tension between the three of them continued.
Victor hired J.T. to dig up more dirt on David, but all J.T. could find was that David had spotty credit, had been married three times, and seemed a to be a regular middle class business man.
Any possibility of reconciliation between Nikki and Victor disappeared even though Nick had been found alive, and Victoria Newman had been injured in the Clear Springs explosion were circumstances that united them. But Victoria’s parents differed on how to treat her and her unborn baby while she was in a coma. The Newman marriage ended in divorce and Nikki and David became engaged.
A mysterious man named Walter Palin showed up in Genoa City. He tracked down David but called him by the name Clark. Palin wanted money David owed him and wanted to know why David had changed his name. David wanted to prevent Nikki from finding out about Walter.
Nikki lost N.V.P. to Victor in the divorce settlement, but Katharine Chancellor, who was retiring from Chancellor Industries, and talked Nikki into taking over her subsidiary, Jabot Cosmetics. Nikki appointed her fiancé David as her Co-CEO.
Walter kept pressuring David, threatening to tell Nikki about their dealings so David finally confessed to Nikki that he had a gambling problem, and that Walter was a loan shark from whom David had borrowed money. Despite David's protests, Nikki paid off the $250,000 David owed Walter. Nikki told David to get therapy for his gambling addiction, and he said that he would. But after Nikki left, David tossed aside the list of self help groups and addiction therapists she had given him, and was determined to stop gambling on his own.
This left David prey for the new Chief Operations Officer of Jabot, Brad Carlton. Brad felt that David was not qualified for the Co-CEO position at Jabot, and formulated a plan to get David to gamble again. Brad set David up with his bookie to lose bets, holding impromptu poker nights at his place, and lending David money to cover his losses. One of the card sharks who played in the games turned out to be Adam's college friend and sometimes-lover, first in their class to Adam's second, Skye Lockhart. Whenever Skye was in town, she would hook up with Adam, then take David Chow for a lot of money.
After many failed attempts by David to get Nikki to set a wedding date, the news of Victor and Sabrina's engagement made Nikki suddenly decide to elope with David to Mexico. After a series of bad omens including a packed plane and a wacky seatmate with a cat and lost luggage which should have further warned Nikki away from David, they arrived in Mexico to the wedding chapel which had burned to the ground. The doomed marriage was held with a borrowed simple gown and a guitar playing Victor & Nikki's love theme "Through the Eyes of Love".
Concerned for his friend, Nikki, and suspicious of David Chow due to the information J.T. had found, Paul began a more thorough investigation into David's past. Paul tracked down David’s last rich wife Bitsy to Bermuda where she had escaped in fear of David and divorced him. Bitsy told Paul that she and David had met as colleagues at Granville Global, and prior to that David had been “in politics”. Bitsy claimed that David got away with the death of his first wife, Janelle, by cheating on her, which caused Janelle to commit suicide. And Bitsy claimed that David had also gotten away with the murder of his second wife, Angela. Paul cut the interview short when Bitsy began ranting about aliens, yet he believed her claims about David may have been true. Paul tracked down Mina King, the sister of David's second wife, Angela, who claimed that David cut the brakes of her sister's car causing the accident that killed her. David received an anonymous tip that Paul had been investigating him, so David went to Nikki with his side of the story. David said he met his first wife Janelle in college, saying that she was always on the go, on a mission of some sort. David claimed that Janelle became paranoid, that she could not sleep, she refused to go for therapy, and she ended up over-dosing on sleeping pills. David told Nikki that his second wife Angela was very athletic, she flew a plane, and she was very volatile. After one of their many fights, Angela drove her sports car into a telephone pole and was killed. David admitted that he gambled away his inheritance from each of them. David also claimed that Angela’s daughter Mina was a cocaine addict and had accused David of murder because her mother had cut Mina out of her will. David claimed his third wife Bitsy was paranoid too, that she had accused him of leaking Granville Global company secrets and having affairs. When Bitsy had refused to get help, they separated, which was when David had an affair with Carmen Mesta. When Bitsy found out about Carmen, she accused David of murdering his wives for their money and became delusional, so David divorced Bitsy. Nikki appeared to believe David, and she asked Paul to stop investigating David. Paul said he would, but he did not.
While Nikki started doing her own research on David on the Internet, Brad continued to lend David money and give him bad gambling tips. David contacted his bookie and lost even more money, to the point where he even pawned the watch that Nikki gave him as a wedding present. After a particularly good winning streak, David bought Nikki a horse named Athena as a gift, and Nikki was thrilled. But that only fed David's addiction, and he went to Las Vegas for a gambling tournament. Just as Sabrina was walking down the aisle to marry Victor, Nikki, at the stables with her new horse, received a devastating phone call from David telling her that he could no longer deceive her about his gambling and that he wanted a divorce. But the next day David was begging Nikki to give him another chance. After he returned from their honeymoon, Victor ran into Nikki and could see she was upset, but Victor left when Paul interrupted, and Paul comforted Nikki.
Meanwhile David, on a business trip to Hollywood, cut it short to gamble in Las Vegas, and Gloria spotted him losing big at the roulette table. Gloria conveniently let it slip to Nikki before David got home, so David confessed and asked Nikki for a divorce "to save her from him," but thinking that they could work it out together, Nikki refused to give up on him. Paul discovered that David was hiding his gambling from Nikki, that David’s real name was Angelo Seraffini, and that he did cover-up and was possibly a hitman for mobster Walter Palin, a.k.a. Anthony “Tony” Amato. Nikki told David she would no longer be made a fool of. David pleaded, telling her that he'd had an alcoholic mother and deadbeat father, how he'd had run-ins with the law since he was eleven, gotten into organized crime with petty stuff like breaking and entering and shoplifting, and how he had to reinvent himself to overcome his reputation, and was going straight now. But Nikki was adamant that they would divorce right after the charity gala.
The yearly Charity Gala, organized this year by Sabrina and Victoria under the watchful eye of Kay Chancellor, was in full swing with all the Genoa City regulars attending in cocktail party attire. After Adam left Heather on the patio for a moment, mobster Walter Palin tried to hit on her. Nikki and David were playing the happy couple one last time before Nikki would file for divorce. Victor told Sabrina he would send a limo for her, when he left with Michael to meet with Phillipe at the ranch to confirm or deny a story that had been published about him and Sabrina. While David was spiking Nikki’s drink with enough morphine to kill her, Phillipe was telling Victor the story as he told it to Jack Abbott, not to Korbel, for the article. Paul and J.T. figured out that David had mob ties and feared for Nikki’s safety, arriving just in time to take the drugged Nikki to the hospital.
Meanwhile David searched for Nikki, gave up, and waited for his limo at the front door. Sabrina was there waiting for her own but was not feeling well and begged David to share his limo and be dropped off at Newman ranch on his way home. David relented and noticed that the driver was not the one who dropped them off, and had called them Mr. and Mrs. Newman. Eight miles down the road, a car ran the limo off the road and it crashed. The driver was killed instantly, and both David and Sabrina were seriously injured. Victor was notified by Michael that David and Nikki’s limo had been involved in a serious accident, so Victor went to the crash site. David was still being worked on by paramedics, who told Victor that Mrs. Newman had already been transported to the hospital. Thinking Nikki could be dying, Victor had flashbacks of their happy times together. Then he noticed Sabrina’s earring in the limo and it dawned on him which Mrs. Newman was in jeopardy. Victor climbed out of the wrecked limo and accosted David, demanding to know if Sabrina had been with him and why. But David was too far gone, and later David died.
Investigation by the D.A.'s office concluded that David had been the murderer of Ji Min Kim. Apparently Ji Min unknowingly borrowed money from Walter Palin to finance House of Kim in the United States. But when Ji Min backed out of the deal when he discovered he was dealing with the mob, so David Chow was contracted to put a hit on Ji Min. The D.A.’s office also concluded that David had killed Skye Lockhart and buried her dismembered body under the floor of the Newman stable. But two years later Skye showed up again very much alive, and she admitted that she had faked her own death.