SAN JOSE, Calif. -- In a major and surprising shake-up, Morris Chang has reassumed control of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC).
In a statement, TSMC (Hsinchu, Taiwan) said its board named Chang to serve as chief executive, along with his current position as chairman, effective June 12. He assumes the CEO title from Rick Tsai, who was appointed president and CEO of TSMC in 2005.
In effect, Chang, 77, will assume day-to-day control of the foundry giant. In his new role, Tsai will serve as president of the New Business Development Organization, reporting directly to Chang, effective June 12. The group will focus on new growth markets, such as LED and solar, according to Digitimes.
The move is a shock. Tsai was seen as the heir apparent to Chang. Under Tsai's leadership, TSMC has seen huge growth. But in recent times, the company has seen a major drop in business, lost share and some technical issues amid the downturn.
On the other hand, TSMC's growth has somewhat leveled off and the company is looking for new markets. In recent times, it has jumped into the MEMS sector. LED and solar are seen as emerging markets.
''TSMC's board of directors highly values Dr. Rick Tsai's outstanding contributions as CEO in the past few years,'' said Chang, in a statement. ''Looking to the future, TSMC needs to develop long-term growth opportunities and this needs the best qualified manager to take charge. Recognizing this, I have asked Dr. Tsai to devote all his energy to this task, and he has accepted the assignment.''