United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) yesterday named two veteran executives as copresidents to succeed retiring chief executive officer Yen Po-wen (顏博文) and help steer the world’s No. 3 contract chipmaker toward next-stage growth.
The company’s board tapped senior vice presidents Chien Shan-chieh (簡山傑) and Jason Wang (王石), who are to report directly to chairman Stan Hung (洪嘉聰), the company said in a statement.
The company does not plan to appoint a new chief executive officer, UMC chief financial officer Liu Chitung (劉啟東) said by telephone.
This is the first time UMC has adopted the dual-president structure in its 37-year history, following in the steps of mobile phone chip designer MediaTek Inc (聯發科) and bigger rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電).
MediaTek in March announced that it would bring in semiconductor industry veteran Rick Tsai (蔡力行) to share the role of chief executive officer with founding chairman and chief executive officer Tsai Ming-kai (蔡明介), while TSMC has been run by two chief executive officers since 2013.
“Copresidents Chien and Wang bring complimentary experience and capabilities to enable UMC to have the best minds committed to our most critical decisions and execution ability,” Hung said in the statement. “With their respective roles clearly defined, I anticipate a very smooth transition as we enter the next stage of UMC’s growth.”
Liu said the new personnel arrangement would not affect UMC’s migration to next-generation technologies.
In April, UMC said it was on track to produce more 14-nanometer (NM) chips this quarter after beginning full-scale production in the first quarter.
UMC now supplies 14nm chips to one client.
In yesterday’s statement, UMC said Chien would oversee core manufacturing and technology development, including research and development, and operations, leveraging his more than 30 years of semiconductor research and development experience.
Wang is to take care of the company’s business aspects, including corporate strategy and planning, sales and marketing, as well as customer engineering, extending his current responsibilities, the statement said.
Chien and Wang are in their 50s.
Yen, 61, said that he “has worked closely with Chien and Wang for many years and is convinced that the copresidents would lead UMC to new heights.”
Yen has accepted a job offer from Tzu Chi Foundation (慈濟基金會) as new CEO of the charity group.
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