THSRC board picks chairman, CEO

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Mar 14, 2014 - Page 4

The board of directors of Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) yesterday elected Tony Fan (范志強) as the new chairman of the company. James Jeng (鄭光遠) was appointed the chief executive officer of the firm.

Fan is currently the chairman of Taiwan Futures Exchange (TAIFEX). Jeng serves as the chairman of Uni Airways. They are to succeed former THSRC chairman and CEO Ou Chin-der (歐晉德), who resigned earlier this month. THSRC spokesperson Ted Chia (賈先德) said Jeng will assume his post today.

Fan, on the other hand, will be chairman of TAIFEX and THSRC until May 15, when TAIFEX futures and options are scheduled to be listed as daily expiring futures on the Eurex Exchange, he said.

Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman William Tseng (曾銘宗) also confirmed yesterday that Fan will leave TAIFEX after the deal with the Eurex Exchange is concluded.

“Between now and May 15, Mr Fan will receive salary only from TAIFEX,” Chia said.

Asked about Fan’s comments about the board’s decision, Chia said the new chairman promised to do the best he can to meet the challenges ahead.

According to Chia, Fan and Jeng garnered unanimous support from the members of the board.

The board consists of nine members representing the government and six others who are private shareholders.

Chia said the meeting was held legally because it had met the minimum requirement in the law for a valid board meeting.

Prior to his current position, Fan was chairman of TransAsia Airways. The debt-ridden air carrier was able to generate profits under his guidance.

Aside from being Uni Air chairman, Jeng was also president and chairman of EVA Airways and was involved in the establishment of the THSRC.

Jeng has a master’s degree in maritime transportation management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a transportation doctorate from National Chiao Tung University.

Evergreen Group spokesperson Nigh Kuo-wei (聶國維) said the group respected Jeng’s personal decision to leave, adding that yesterday was his last day on the job.

Nigh emphasized that the public must not associate Jeng’s new job at the THSRC with the possibility that he was sent by the group to take the job.

The board also approved Ou’s retirement plan, as well as those of senior vice president of corporate planning division Ricardo Tan (譚尹衡) and chief operating officer Alex Chang (張煥光).

All three have met the retirement age.

“Ou said in a letter to the employees that his resignation was a small matter, but Taiwan cannot survive one day without the high-speed rail and that the high-speed rail drives the development of the nation,” Chia said.

“He hoped the government and THSRC board, as partners in a build-operate-transfer project, can work together for the sustainability of the high-speed rail,” Chia added.

During the board meeting, four high-speed trains were delayed because of an abnormality detected in a railway switch near Taipei Railway Station. The delay affected approximately 1,400 passengers.

This marks the sixth incident for the service since high-speed rail ticket prices were raised.