On July 4th, SMIC announced that Wu Jingang, a core technician, recently applied to resign from his position for personal reasons and completed the resignation procedures.
Recently, at the Extraordinary Shareholders’ General Meeting on June 26, 2021, the STAR Market Restricted Stock Incentive Plan was approved, a deal that would see Wu Jingyang receive 160,000 restricted shares. The resignation implies that Wu would give up these 160,000 restricted shares. Calculated at the closing price on July 2, the value of the shares Wu would have received was about 9.3 million yuan.
In this regard, SMIC said in the announcement that the technology R&D is proceeding normally at present, and Wu’s resignation wouldn’t severely impact its overall R&D strength.
Wu joined SMIC in 2001. Since 2014, Wu has served as vice president of technology R&D, during which he was responsible for the R&D and management of advanced FinFET technology.
According to SMIC’s 2020 annual report, Wu is now 53 years old and received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1995. In 2020, Wu earned a total of 2.141 million yuan from SMIC.
However, Wu received only half the number of restricted shares compared to Zhang Xin, the senior vice president of operations and engineering, core technical staff, and director of a subsidiary, according to the incentive plan. Zhou Meisheng, the executive vice president of technology development, received 360,000 shares.
According to SMIC’s 2020 annual report, the R&D and management of FinFET under Wu is critical for SMIC.
According to SMIC’s annual report, the IC is manufactured under highly sophisticated equipment. After decades of development, the IC has evolved from the 0.35-micron CMOS process in the early 2000s to the nano-scale FinFET process. It is expected that the world’s most advanced mass-production IC manufacturing process of 5nm or 3nm will be introduced to the market around 2022.
Another two core figures of SMIC are Jiang Shangyi and Liang Mengsong. Jiang Shangyi, aged 74, received his doctorate in electronic engineering from Stanford University in 1974, and joined SMIC in 2016 as an independent non-executive director. In June 2019, SMIC announced that Jiang would not be re-elected for personal reasons and due to other work commitments. On December 15, 2020, Jiang returned to SMIC.
Liang Mengsong holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Liang has been engaged in the R&D of chip manufacturing for AMD, TSMC and Samsung for 35 years. It’s exactly under his leadership that SMIC has been able to move through five generations of chip production, moving from from 28nm to 5nm in that time. On December 15, 2020, Liang, the current co-CEO of SMIC, resigned. Still, SMIC retained Liang. According to SMIC’s 2020 financial report, Liang received a total remuneration of 4.93 million US dollars in 2020, higher than any other director or executive.
According to China Fund, the turnover rate of ordinary employees in SMIC was above 20% in 2018. The data disclosed in SMIC’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report in 2018 implies that the overall employee turnover rate at SMIC in 2018 was 22%, which was 1.3 times higher than the average of its peers. In 2019, the overall turnover rate of employees decreased to 17.5%.