Sat, Jan 07, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Inventec chairman seeking successor

THREE-HORSE RACE:Inventec Solar Energy chairman Tom Cho, Inventec Appliance chairman Jackson Chang and Inventec president Huang Kuo-chun are the front-runners

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Inventec Corp (英業達) chairman Richard Lee (李詩欽) yesterday said he is seeking a successor by June and hopes to lower the management’s average age to energize the company.

“The new chairman should be younger than 65 years old. I will make this happen at a board meeting in June,” the 69-year-old Lee told reporters ahead of a company event at the Nangang Exhibition Hall in Taipei.

Lee, who joined Inventec the year after it was established in 1975, has been chairman since founder Yeh Kuo-yi (葉國一) retired in 2008.

Under his leadership, Inventec secured smartphone orders from Chinese company Xiaomi Corp (小米) in 2010, merged its solar subsidiaries Inventec Solar Energy Corp (英穩達) and Inventec Energy Corp (英懋達) in 2015, and increased its server segment’s revenue contribution from less than 20 percent to between 35 and 40 percent last year.

The company also became the sole manufacturer of Apple Inc’s wireless earphones the AirPod last year.

Lee said the board would propose that Inventec Solar Energy chairman Tom Cho (卓桐華) become the sixth director at a board meeting at the end of March.

Inventec president Huang Kuo-chun (黃國鈞), Inventec Appliance Corp (英華達) chairman Jackson Chang (張景嵩) — both directors — and Cho are the three main candidates for the chairmanship, as they are all in charge of business units, Lee said.

The board is to elect a new chairman and nominate a new president at the meeting in June, Lee said, adding that he would remain a director “for a while” after the election.

Lee said Inventec is confident that its total shipments, which include notebook computers, servers and smart devices, would reach 100 million units this year.

The company has failed to achieve that target for the past two years due to a smartphone client changing its order. It shipped slightly more than 80 million units last year, flat from the previous year.

Inventec Appliance chief executive David Ho (何代水) said the company would ship 75 million smart devices this year, 25 percent more than last year’s 60 million units.

Ho said he is confident of reaching the goal as order visibility for wearable products and smart home devices is very clear “throughout” the entire year.

Production utilization for smart devices would run at full capacity this quarter, Ho said, adding that two of the wearable product lines would work extra shifts during the Lunar New Year holiday to meet strong demand from clients.

Inventec’s combined revenue climbed 9.28 percent year-on-year to NT$390.04 billion (US$12.19 billion) in the first 11 months of last year. The company is scheduled to release last month’s results on Monday.

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