HSINCHU, Taiwan -- In a restructuring intended to increase efficiency, Taiwan's United Microelectronics Group has named new chairmen for three of its units.
John Hsuan has been promoted from vice chairman to chairman of United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), the group's flagship company. Hsuan succeeds Robert Tsao, who will remain as group chairman.
Tsao is also relinquishing his positions as chairman of Unipac Optoelectronics and Worldwiser Electronics, which will now be headed respectively by Liu Ing-dar and T.J. Tseng. Liu is a Unipac board member and Tseng has been serving as Worldwiser's president.
"It's necessary for each company to have a fully dedicated chairman to best respond to" challenges that come with rapid growth, the Hsinchu-based group said in a statement. "Tsao will be freed from the demands of daily operations. He will be in a better position to concentrate on strategic and financial planning aimed at the future development of the companies."
UMC forecasts that, due principally to rising chip demand, its sales this year will increase to $2.9 billion from $951 million in 1999. The promotion of Hsuan, who joined UMC in 1982 and held its No. 2 position in the wafer foundry market, won't have a major impact on the way the foundry functions, according to industry analysts in Taiwan.
"Their management style is not going to change," said Eric Wang, head of regional semiconductor research at ABN AMRO Asia Ltd. in Taipei. "Tsao and Hsuan will still be the key executives, while Peter Chang, the foundry's chief executive, takes care of daily operations."
UMC expects capacity this year to reach 2.4 million wafers, with more than half produced on advanced 0.18- and 0.25-micron technology.
Unipac, a maker of TFT-LCDs, expects its sales this year to climb to $425 million, while Worldwiser predicts sales of $328 million. Worldwiser's products include high-density interconnects and printed-circuit boards.