Singapore - Forbes Asia has named Morris Chang, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC), as its 2012 Businessman of the Year.
Chang has in the past two decades helped to spur a wave of change and innovation in the global electronics industry. Before the 1980s, suppliers of semiconductors for everything from computers to radios mostly spent big sums to design chips themselves and make them in their own factories.
In the middle of that decade, Chang came up with a niche: specialised factory services (also called a 'foundry') for companies willing to outsource production. This brought down a huge financial barrier to entry for engineer entrepreneurs and led to a wave of innovations and lower costs for consumers.
In 2001, the international edition of Forbes put Chang on its cover as 'The Catalyst', noting his leadership of TSMC and the company's role in accelerating industry innovation.
The story continues today with insight on how Chang, a mainland-born Chinese graduate of MIT and Stanford, had left the CEO seat in 2005 only to return to the helm in 2009 on concerns about the future.
"I had always thought that the company was capable of more. It didn't happen." At age 78, Chang took control again and began yet another remarkable chapter in his career.
Chang's hard work has paid off. TSMC's shares hit a ten-year high this year; profit for 2012 is en route to a record. In the third quarter, net profit jumped 62 per cent to $1.7 billion.
For his latest act, on the back of his transformative accomplishments, Chang is Forbes Asia's 2012 Businessman of the Year.
Go to www.forbes.com or get a copy of the December issue of Forbes Asia for the full story.