Mon, Sep 03, 2007 - Page 12 News List

NEWSMAKER: New Quanta chief seeks different business approach

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

C.C. Leung, vice chairman of Quanta Computer Inc, the world's biggest notebook computer subcontractor, poses in front of Quanta headquarters in Taoyuan on Friday. Leung, who recently replaced outgoing president Michael Wang, says that under his leadership the company will do better.

PHOTO: CHO YI-CHUN, TAIPEI TIMES

C.C. Leung (梁次震), who helped turn a tiny computer company into the world's largest portable computer contract maker, has a new vision for this company's future. This time, the plan is to say goodbye to its conservative image.

"We will be a `flying turtle,'" said Leung, the new president of Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), at an investors' conference in Taoyuan on Friday.

In the past, the computer maker had expanded its business via the "Turtle Philosophy," a term coined by company cofounder Barry Lam (林百里) meaning that expansion is done at a slow, low key yet stable pace.

"The philosophy is still our motto, but now this turtle will be flying sky high," Leung said.

The event, where the company's quarterly financial results were unveiled, marked Leung's first official meeting with the press after he was elected by the board to replace Michael Wang (王震華) on Aug. 24.

Leung, who cofounded Quanta in 1998 with Wang and Lam, said he expected to cope well with his new responsibilities. He also doubles as vice chairman.

The new appointment marks Leung's second time as president. He held the position for 13 years before handing over the responsibilities to Wang in June last year.

The company's organizational structure will remain unchanged, but the main priority will now be to "enable greater space so that every staff member can give full play to his or her talent," he said.

Leung will face an urgent task of retaining talent, especially following Wang's departure, which made the headlines in newspapers and sparked speculation on possible discord among the three pillars of the company.

"Wang, with his well-rounded sales background, told staff that the manner in which we sell products to clients is far more important than just developing top-notch products," a veteran magazine journalist covering the local IT industry scene said.

"He told the research team not just to design products inside the office cubicles, but to try to offer what clients really wanted," he said.

Wang's outgoing and strong personality and emphasis on sales led to Quanta's losing a number of research and development employees.

In March, Jason Lin (林群傑), ex-director of the strategic investment division and deputy spokesman of the company, confirmed to the Taipei Times that 20 handset researchers had left the company.

He said, however, that it is not unusual in the high-tech industry for employees to resign after receiving their year-end bonuses.

Lin himself has just left Quanta to go back to the securities industry.

"We will not hesitate to provide training and offer our employees more `humanized company management,'" Leung said, without stating concrete strategies.

Leung said Wang had decided to leave the company for personal reasons and wanted to spend more time with his family.

Leung told reporters he could manage the sales aspect.

"What the media said about my not having a strong sales background is false," he said.

Leung, a graduate of National Taiwan University's physics department, helped establish the company's research and development team in its early days.

He switched over to manufacturing in 1993 and has been involved in sales since 1996.

"I have had an enjoyable time dealing with clients in the US and Japan," he said.

With the soft spoken, meticulous Leung taking the helm, the industry will be paying close attention as the company attempts to cement its lead in the notebook production industry, where competition is firing up and profit margins are deteriorating.

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