Jan Hung-tze (
"I always want to be the 19th century Italian hero Giuseppe Garibaldi, who walked away with a bag of beans after winning the revolution. Now I finally did it," the 49-year old Jan, with his trademark black-framed glasses and shoulder-length hair, told a press conference yesterday.
Jan will remain honorary chairman of the company and advisor to its board. He also remains chairman of PChome Online (
A Chinese-language media report said that Jan decided to resign due to disagreement over administration with Tom Group Ltd (Tom集團).
Tom Group is an associate of Hong Kong billionaire tycoon Li Ka-shing's (
"This is a misinterpretation ? I am retiring for a better life, and I think it's time for me to go since the company is in good shape and in good hands," Jan said.
Wang Sing (王兟), CEO and executive director of Tom Group, said the Hong Kong shareholders and managers will strictly respect the editorial independence and the professionalism of Cite's staff.
Despite Jan's claims, his sudden retirement has shocked the industry.
A graduate of National Taiwan University, where he studied economics, Jan has devoted himself to the media and the publishing industries for the past 27 years. He has played a host of roles, including author, editor, commentator, movie producer and publisher, building a first-rate reputation.
His insightful views on cultural and socio-economic issues and trends made him a forerunner in the industry and the founder of several businesses and companies, such PC Home and as Cite.
One of his noted brainchilds was the shortlived tTimes, the nation's first electronic daily newspaper, which was set up in May 2000. It originated from Jan's belief in the emerging Internet era.
The e-paper closed after only one year due to funding problems. Nevertheless, tTimes is considered the pioneer for the local Internet and media industries in the development of Web-based publications.
"He is the only person who is younger than me whom I admire in the industry," said James Jin (金惟純), publisher of Business Weekly Media Group (商周出版集團), who has succeeded Jan as chairman of Cite.
The establishment of PC Home and Cite are Jan's most prominent accomplishments.
PC Home has expanded from a computer how-to magazine to become the nation's fourth largest Internet portal, a profitable online shopping site and the leading VoIP provider after allying itself with Skype Technologies SA.
Cite, after just eight years in business, is the nation's largest publishing group. It operates 54 magazines and 36 publishing houses that reported nearly NT$3.7 billion in revenues last year, a 18 percent jump from 2003.
To Jan, his spending the past nine years in the two businesses came about by accident after he quit Yuan-Liou Publishing Co (
"When I approached him with the proposal for PC Home, he told me `don't even wait a minute -- do it now,' which showed his curiosity and enterprising spirit," recalled Ho Fei-peng (