Mon, Jul 23, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Press reports say Taiyen chairman to be replaced

STAFF WRITER

The government plans to tap Wu Chi-chang (吳啟章) to replace state-run Taiyen Biotech Co (臺鹽) chairman Lin Ching (林靖) as part of its effort to overhaul the management of state-owned firms.

The move was unexpected because Lin's two-year term does not expire until the end of the year, the Chinese-language Commercial Times reported yesterday.

The newspaper, citing a high-ranking official at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, said the ministry has recommended to the Cabinet that Wu be appointed because Lin has completed the task appointed him by the ministry.

The Chinese-language Economic Daily News carried a similar story yesterday, saying that the Cabinet would soon approve Wu's appointment and he would be elected as Taiyen chairman at a board meeting this week at the earliest.

Both papers said Lin has been a controversial figure since he took the helm of Taiyen in late 2005.

He was criticized for making no significant progress on business front, despite large-scale job reshuffles and a bold attempt to align the distributing channel for the company's popular cosmetic products, the reports said.

Taiyen posted a pre-tax profit of NT$145 million (US$4.42 million) in the first six months of the year, which represented almost a 30 percent decline from its net income of NT$206 million a year ago.

Revenues were also down 18 percent roughly to NT$1.17 billion during the first half of the year from NT$1.43 billion a year earlier, the company's data showed.

Taiyen shares were up 1.85 percent at NT$33 on Friday on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Wu, 64, a former board director of Taiyen, developed close ties with President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) by campaigning for him during Chen's legislative and Taipei mayor campaigns in the 1990s, the two newspapers said.

He also led 5,000 supporters from Chen's hometown, Tainan, to counter the anti-Chen campaign led by former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Shih Ming-teh (施明德) last year, the reports said.

In other developments, the Cabinet is reportedly considering changes at other state-run companies, including Taiwan Sugar Corp (台糖), Tang Eng Iron Works Corp (唐榮) and Taiwan Power Co (台電), the Economic Daily News reported, without citing sources.

The Cabinet approved the appointment of Lin Wen-yuan (林文淵) to replace Chiang Yao-chung (江耀宗) as China Steel Corp (中鋼) chairman last month.

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