Wed, Jul 05, 2000 - Page 17 News List

CAL board gets itself a makeover

RESHUFFLE A commercial remnant of the KMT, China Airlines is undergoing its first reorganization by a non-KMT government

By Cybil Chou  /  STAFF REPORTER

The board of Taiwan's largest air carrier was reshuffled yesterday by the government foundation that controls the company, leaving only one member from the previous board

The move -- part of the government's plan to improve the state-run airline's flight safety record -- follows last month's announcement by Minister of Transportation and Communications (MOTC, 交通部), Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭), that the government will make flight safety a top priority.

China Aviation Development Foundation (CADF, 中華航空事業發展基金會), China Airlines' (CAL, 中華航空公司) major share holder, announced the list of CAL's new board of directors yesterday, with its chairman Chiang Hung-yi (蔣洪彝) the only survivor from the previous board.

Media and industry concerns have centered on who would take the posts of the new chairman and president of this state-controlled carrier, and whether political factors would determine the nomination of the two key posts. CADF, which owns 71 percent of the state-controlled carrier, has said that the tenure of the 11 board members and one supervisor would be from July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2003.

New board members include Lee Yun-ning (李雲寧), chairman of Far Eastern Air Transport Co (遠東航空公司) in which China Airlines has a stake. Other new board members include Huang Chu-cheng (黃居正), CAL legal affairs manager; Chuang Hsu-fen (莊淑芬), chairman of Ogilvy & Mather (Taiwan); Kao Chih-cheng (高志誠), chairman of I-Mei Foods (義美食品); Lu Chieh-cheng (呂桔誠), vice president of KBC Bank (Belgium) NV Taiwan and Ken H C Chiu (邱晃泉), a partner in the law firm, Kew & Lord.

Industry sources, who asked not to be identified, speculated that Far Eastern Air Transport's Lee may be in the running to replace Chiang as chairman.

Meanwhile, another new board member, Tsong Tsai-yi (宗才怡), a consultant for the Kaohsiung City Government Department of Rapid Transit Systems, (高雄市政府捷運局), is said to be the choice of the MOTC chief to take over the post of president at CAL, according to the source. CAL officials declined to comment on candidate selection for the two positions.

"The election of the new chair and president is scheduled for (tomorrow) at the first meeting of the new board, " said company spokesperson Scott Shih (石炳煌).

The boards of both CADF and CAL will need to implement a long-delayed plan to sell at least 50 percent of the foundation's shares in the carrier.

First announced in October 1998, the share sell-off failed after US investment bank Salomon Smith Barney failed to find a buyer to pay the foundation's asking price.

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