TSMC reveals successors of Morris Chang

PHOTO: TSMC reveals successors of Morris Chang

TAIPEI - The board of TSMC, the world's leading semiconductor foundry, on Tuesday announced personnel appointments to succeed Morris Chang, the company's longtime CEO.

According to the company, two high ranking officers, Mark Liu (劉德音) and C.C.Wei (魏哲家) will be promoted to the position of co-CEOs, an outcome in line with the expectation of industry observers. Following the change, Liu and Wei will report directly to Chang, who will retain his post as the company's chairman.

The appointment of Wei and Liu by the company's board follows an announcement made by Executive Vice President and co-COO Chiang Shang-yi (蔣尚義), who last month stated that he intends to retire. Chiang had previously been deemed by industry observers as the most likely successor to Chiang.

Chang, however, had previously stated that he will continue to guide the company's overall operating strategy, during a shareholders' meeting last month.

Meanwhile, in another statement dating back to June of 2009 when he retook the CEO position, Chang had said that his return is slated for three to five years. According to Chang's statement in 2009, his tenure at the company's helm is anticipated to come to an end in June of next year.

Reports indicate that Liu and Wei's upcoming roles as co-leaders of TSMC have not been specified, and dependent on Chang's assignment.

TSMC's board on Tuesday approved of a NT$24.461 billion (S$1.03 billion) capital budget, to be allocated toward expanding the company's production capacity, and upgrading of fabrication technology. The company's board also approved of a NT$5.263 billion budget for recurrent capital expenses and research and development. The TSMC board also approved of a motion to set the company's retirement age at 67, and promoted BJ Woo (金平中), vice president of business development, to corporate vice president.

Throughout his career at TSMC, Liu had served as the company's senior vice president of operations, and senior vice president to the advanced technology business group at TSMC. C.C. Wei is a 15-year veteran at TSMC, and had previously served as the company's senior vice president of business development, and senior vice president of main stream technology business. From March 2012 to November 2013, both Liu and Wei had most recently served as the company's co-chief operating officers (COO).

The company had recently reported stellar October sales figures of NT$51.8 billion, up 3.6 per cent year-on-year. Following a streak of high-level earnings, fourth-quarter results for the company are expected to take an 11-per cent hit, falling to the NT$144 billion to NT$147 billion range, down from the NT$162.58 billion in the previous quarter.