TSMC Chairman Morris Chang Announced He will Retire Next Year

TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) issued a press release that Morris Chang, the chairman and founder of the company, would retire in June next year. At that time, the world’s largest chip foundry company will practice a dual-head system with Dr. Mark Liu as chairman and Dr. CC Wei as the president. Breaking tradition, Chang published 2017 revenue prediction, which is better than forecast, when announcing his retirement. In dollar terms, he said, TSMC’s sales growth in the United States this year would be close to 10%, higher than the expected 4%.

According to media reports in the afternoon, Chang announced at the press conference in the afternoon that “I will retire at the end of this term. After the board meeting in early June 2018, TSMC will adopt a dual-head system with Dr. Mark Liu as chairman and Dr. CC Wei as the president”. Liu will have the final say in all business decisions and strategic development direction, and the Wei plans and operates company business in addition to accepting the decision of the board of directors.

TSMC, the largest supplier of chips for Qualcomm and Apple, confirmed long-standing speculation about the successors and formal succession institution.

Chang resigned as president in 2013 after appointing Liu and Wei to be his deputies in the board. There is no doubt that Chang will completely leave the company he founded in 1987.

“I gradually formed the decision of retirement. Honestly, it has something to do with me age. Possibly, I might make the decision in early this year,” said Chang. He stressed after retirement he will not assume any position in the company.

The company Mark Liu and CC Wei will take over is a global outstanding chip foundry manufacturer after thirty-years’ efforts. Its current size is about 30 times of its Taiwanese rival UMC (United Microelectronics Corp.). TSMC has invested billions of dollars in technology upgrades and new production lines to keep up with rivals such as Intel and Samsung in the most advanced manufacturing technology.

Chang said on Monday that in the next five years, TSMC’s annual revenue growth rate would be between 5% and 10% in dollar terms.

TSMC’s shares have risen by 21% this year due to expected market demand for Apple’s new iPhones and other products. According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Chang became a billionaire this year. According to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, as of August 31, Chang directly owned 0.48 % of TSMC. Shares of TSMC rose by 1.9% in Taipei Stock Exchange before Chang announcing his retirement.

Chang devoted most of his life to the semiconductor business, and he has become one of the most respected figures in the chip industry. Chang was born in the coastal city Ningbo, China in 1931. His earliest memory was to escape from the Japanese invasion and flew from one city to another. He went through the civil war. He went to Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study mechanical engineering by transferring in Hong Kong, which laid the foundation for his future career. In 1987, he won government funding to create TSMC. Since then, TSMC has helped developing modern chip OEM business and has supported early development of companies such as Nvidia Corp., Broadcom Ltd.

Chang remembered when TSMC was founded in 1987, no one thought Taiwan could do anything in the semiconductor industry, while now Taiwan is the center of the semiconductor industry.

The growing demand for semiconductors in the Chinese market, and the explosive growth in smart devices connected to the Internet, offering significant opportunities to TSMC. TSMC is building capacity to meet the needs of the future, especially the demand from the Internet of things market. TSMC said last week it would build its first 3 nanotechnology plant in Tainan City in southern Taiwan.

“TSMC will continue to forge ahead along the grand blueprint laid down by chairman Chang. In the next three to five years, TSMC’s leading position in the foundry industry will not Change,” said Huang Wen – ching (transliteration), VP of Taishin Securities Investment Advisory Co., “the succession does not affect TSMC share prices and fundamentals”.

The task of leading TSMC now relies on Dr. Mark Liu and Dr. CC Wei.

“It has been a very exciting and enjoyable time in my life to establish and work for TSMC. And now, I want to keep my remaining years for myself and my family,” said Chang in his announcement on Monday.

He added, “Dr. Mark Liu and Dr. CC Wei have served as co-CEOs since 2013 and have performed well. After my retirement, I have full confidence under the supervision and support of the board and leadership of these two directors, TSMC will continue to create miracles.”


This article originally appeared in Netease Technology and was translated by Pandaily.

Click here to read the original Chinese article.