Tue, Aug 10, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Will the rightful Shinkong Fibers chief stand up?

FAMILY FEUD Thomas Wu insists he is chairman of Shinkong Synthetic Fibers, but his mother says the position now belongs to his brother

STAFF REPORTER

Amid a family squabble over who is the rightful chair of Shinkong Synthetic Fibers Corp (新纖), self-proclaimed chairman Thomas Wu (吳東亮) yesterday said in a statement that he would choose social justice over family fairness now that those two principles are at odds.

His statement was read at a press conference that was called by Shinkong Synthetic Fibers general manager Wei Chung-liang (魏忠亮) and secretary to the board Ku Chao-nan (辜昭南).

The previous day, Wu's mother, Wu Kuei-lan (吳桂蘭), had issued a press release demanding that her third son to give up the chairmanship to his younger brother, Eric Wu (吳東昇).

As the power struggle within the Wu family intensified, Wei and Ku reiterated yesterday that Thomas Wu's election by the board members was in line with legal procedures and conditions.

"Thomas Wu said he must be responsible for the employees, shareholders and society, and therefore he refuses to give up running Shinkong Synthetic Fibers because of family pressure," the statement said.

Shinkong Synthetic Fibers was established in 1976 by the late chairman Wu Ho-su (吳火獅) -- father of both Thomas Wu and Eric Wu.

The company was formed in collaboration with Toray Industries Inc and the Mitsubishi Corp of Japan.

With capital of NT$12.92 billion (US$379 million), the company manufactures polyester and various types of engineering plastics products.

The chairmanship dispute follows a board meeting held on Friday at which board members elected Thomas Wu to head Shinkong Synthetic Fibers.

Thomas Wu is also chairman of Taishin Financial Holding Co (台新金控).

The election ran afoul of the Wu family's earlier decision and angered the mother, who chaired another board meeting later on Friday and appointed Eric Wu to be the "real" chairman.

At yesterday's press conference, Ku said that if board members have any doubts about the election result, they should address the issue through the legal system.

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