Thu, Nov 20, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Taisugar chairman Wu abruptly resigns position

By Tseng Hui-wen, Elizabeth Tchii And Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Taiwan Sugar Corp (Taisugar, 台糖) chairman Wu Rong-ming (吳容明) unexpectedly tendered his resignation to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), effective yesterday, just two months after taking the post on Sept. 1.

“Minister Yiin Chii-ming (尹啟銘) is currently in Lima, Peru, at the APEC Summit, so we have not been informed of the news,” section chief at the MOEA’s department of secretariat Huang Hsien-lin (黃憲琳) said by telephone yesterday, adding the ministry was in the process of gaining a better understanding of the matter.

“At this sensitive moment, it would be imprudent for MOEA to issue any statement without the Minister present,” he added.

Liu Tsung-hsien (劉宗憲), chief of Taisugar’s public relations department, also voiced surprise, saying that he only found out about Wu’s resignation after reading the morning paper.

He added that Wu spent Monday afternoon in an executive meeting and showed no sign of his intentions.

Wu’s abrupt departure was reportedly triggered by pressure from Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung’s (江丙坤) desire to install his nephew Chen Ching-bin (陳清彬) as company president.

Chen is currently a company vice president and had been acting as interim president. Wu was reportedly considering candidates other than Chen for the presidency.

Asked if Chen would now assume the presidency as the ministry planned, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs John Deng (鄧振中) said yesterday that it was still undecided.

The labor union also said it wants Chen to be president.

In response, Chiang yesterday expressed regret over allegations that he had recommended the promotion of his nephew.

Chiang said that he never used his personal influence to sway the personnel decisions of Taisugar, while Wu had brought up the subject when Wu came to visit him at the SEF. Chiang said he told Wu that he had to consult with his nephew about his intentions and that he had not talked about it since because he was preoccupied with his meeting with Chinese envoy Chen Yunlin (陳雲林).

Chiang said his nephew had worked his way up to the position of the company’s deputy general manager and that he had never exercised influence in his nephew’s promotions during Chen’s 30 years at Taiwan Sugar.

Chiang emphasized that he had met Wu on only two occasions since Wu assumed his current position and that he had not talked to him since he met Wu at his office before the Chiang-Chen meeting.

Chiang made the remarks while attending a meeting of the business group Third Wednesday Club (三三會) in Taipei yesterday.

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