Former minister of the interior Yu Cheng-hsien (
Yu is currently a national policy adviser. Prior to heading up the interior ministry, Yu served as Kaohsiung County commissioner and as a legislator.
"I will maintain Taisugar's good foundation and seek further improvement on the current basis," Yu said at his inauguration ceremony.
Yu took over the chairmanship from Lin Neng-pai (林能白), who was transferred from the chairmanship of state-run Taiwan Power Co (台電) to Taisugar in July last year.
Lin is not the only chairman to have held the post for only a short period of time. Lin's predecessor was current head of Financial Supervisory Commission Kong Jaw-sheng (
As an academic specializing in management, Lin was considered a key figure to reconstruct Taipower and turn it into a cash cow for the government.
But Lin decided to leave Taisugar after finding it difficult to reform the 60-year-old company, and pressure to manage Taisugar's massive land holdings of about 54,657 hectares.
Despite having served in the post for a mere six months, Lin was praised by Minister of Economic Affairs Ho Mei-yueh (
Taisugar had been expected to lose NT$800 million (US$25.7 million) last year, but ended up reporting a pre-tax profit of NT$5.77 billion.
Although the profit came from sales of its land holdings, Ho said Lin has significantly reduced losses at the company's main business, from NT$2.03 billion in 2003 to NT$600 million last year.
As for Yu, the first challenge he needs to overcome is the liberalization of the sugar market. The ministry now allows all companies to freely import sugar, causing Taisugar to lose its monopoly in the business.
Yu said Taisugar will still manufacture sugar for the benefit of farmers, while continuing to expand its health-care and beauty products, which have gradually become popular among consumers, as well as making use of its property holdings to help develop high-tech and other crucial industries.