LONDON – Foundry chip company Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. has appointed Tzu-Yin Chiu as CEO with immediate effect. The appointment of Chiu should resolve uncertainties that began as a result of the death of former chairman Jiang Shang Zhou.
Trading in shares in SMIC (Shanghai, China) ceased at the company's request on June 30, after SMIC reported the death of its chairman and that the company's president and CEO David Wang had failed to win re-election to its board of directors. In July Wenyi Zhang was appointed chairman of the board of directors and interim CEO.
The incoming Chiu, aged 55, has a prestigious academic record and 27 years of experience in the semiconductor foundry business. However, Chiu could be set to have a difficult start at SMIC as the foundry industry is widely tipped to be about to go into an oversupply situation. This usually affects smaller foundries, such as SMIC sooner and longer than it does market leader Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd.
Chiu has experience of both companies having begun his foundry career at TSMC and spent four years at SMIC between 2001 and 2005. SMIC was founded in 2000 by Richard Chang.
Chiu earned his bachelor's degree in electrical and system's Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California at Berkeley. He received an EMBA degree from Columbia University in New York and began his professional career as a research scientist at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, where he rose to become the department head for high-speed electronics research.
Chiu then joined Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. as senior director of fab operations. Chiu subsequently joined SMIC and served as senior vice president of operations from 2001 to 2005. He was chief operating officer at Hua Hong International Management Shanghai Co. Ltd. to 2007 and president and COO of Silterra Malaysia Sdn. Bhd from 2007 to 2009. Chiu was president and CEO of Shanghai Hua Hong NEC Electronics Co. Ltd. from 2009 to 2011.
Chiu also served as an independent director of Actions Semiconductor Co. Ltd. from 2005 to 2009. He holds ten semiconductor technology patents, and has published more than thirty technical articles.