Tatung Co (大同) chairman Lu Ming-kuang (盧明光) and president Chaney Ho (何春盛) yesterday announced their resignations, adding further uncertainty at the troubled conglomerate which has undergone several changes to its management team since last year.
When he took the job late last year, 72-year-old Lu had envisioned implementing a five-year plan to turn the company around before retiring again. Yesterday, he said he was proud of what he had achieved since returning to the company.
“I’ve not done wrong by the largest shareholder, the employees or the investors who came in because they believed in my management team,” Lu told a news conference in Taipei.
Lu came out of retirement to take over as chairman in December last year after his predecessor, Lin Wen-yuan (林文淵), stepped down from the position after 50 days in office amid a disagreement with major shareholder Shanyuan Group (三圓建設) chairman Wang Kuang-hsiang (王光祥).
Under Lu’s leadership, Tatung’s nine business units all returned to profitability, Ho said.
“We did our level best to save Tatung” said Ho, who joined the company in June. “We took a company that was going backward and turned it into a company that was making a slow forward motion.”
However, that was not enough for Wang, who yesterday thanked, praised and bowed to Lu and Ho, before escorting them out of the news conference.
It is time for Tatung to start paying a dividend again and develop its substantial real-estate assets, said Wang, who is a director of Tatung and also chairs the company’s real-estate subsidiary, Shan Chih Asset Development Co (尚志資產開發).
“Tatung shareholders are like paupers sitting in a house made of gold,” Wang said.
There are rumors that Wang is likely to take over as Tatung chairman when the company holds a board meeting on Tuesday next week.
“We will now comprehensively develop our real-estate portfolio, our renewable energy business and our electric bus,” Wang said. “Chairman Lu was hardworking and conscientious, but it’s been 20 years since Tatung paid a dividend, we will not let our investors wait another five.”
Chung Yi-wen (鍾依文), who made way for Ho in June, is expected to return as president.
“The fundamental principle of business is profitability,” Chung said.
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