And Chang has tried to step back from the foundry before. In 2005, Chang
handed TSMC's CEO position to Rick Tsai in 2005 while continuing as
chairman. On June 12, 2009 Chang, a month short of his 78th birthday,
resumed day-to-day control of the company. Tsai was moved to serve as
president of new business development and focus on growth opportunities
LED and solar.
The move was a shock. Under Tsai's leadership,
TSMC has seen rapid growth but was then hit by a drop in business, a
loss of market share and some technical issues amid the downturn. One
could argue that Tsai, who had been seen as heir-apparent to Chang, was
unlucky in that his tenure as CEO of TSMC coincided with the global 2008
economic collapse. But as Napoleon is reputed to have said: "I would
rather have a general who was lucky than one who was good."
currently serves as chairman and CEO of TSMC Solar Ltd. and TSMC Solid
State Lighting Ltd. and it could be argued that he is still a
possibility to be brought over to lead TSMC when the time is right.
likely it will be one of three co-COO's appointed by TSMC in March
2012. Shang-yi Chiang (R&D), Mark Liu (operations) and Che-Chia Wei
(business development) we each promoted to co-COO reporting to Chang.
All other divisions and personnel were set to report to these three. In
March 2012 it was reported that each would have six months to head up
the functions of research and development, business development and
operations. That means that after 18 months their strengths and
weaknesses will be thoroughly known to Morris Chang and helping the
process of announcing a successor.
That means TSMC should be in a
position to announce Morris Chang's successor as CEO sometime toward
the end of the fourth quarter 2013 to provide for as smooth a possible
transition in 2014. But whoever gets the job will be trying to fill the
largest pair of shoes working in semiconductors.
Mr. Chang's shoes will not be easy to fill, it happens to every company, after the original Entrepreneurs'/founders leave, companies usually cannot sustain the same leadership position.
See what happened to Apple every time Steve Job left or at last died. They have never been able to regain their leadership position.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.