TSMC’S Chang May Appoint More Than One CEO After He Steps Down

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (2330) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Morris Chang said he may appoint more than one CEO after he relinquishes the post at the world’s largest custom-chip maker.

A management shuffle announced on March 2 was a step closer to appointing a new leader for TSMC, the 80-year-old Chang said during a briefing at the company’s headquarters today. Chang said he may step down as CEO by June 2014 while remaining chairman.

The chipmaker, whose clients include Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) and Broadcom Corp. (BRCM), announced the promotion of three senior vice presidents to co-chief operating officers effective today. TSMC reported a third consecutive quarterly decline in net income for the three months ended December as customers, damped by a faltering global economy and the European debt crisis, cut orders to clear inventory.

“It is about time for the company to prepare new leaders for the industry that faces fierce competition on the global front,” Tu Jin-lung, chairman at Grand Cathay Investment Services Corp., said by phone today. “Chang is over 80 years old and the new appointees could be potential CEO candidates.”

TSMC fell 0.5 percent to NT$78.9 at the 1:30 p.m. close of trading in Taipei. The stock has gained 9.9 percent in the past year, beating the 8.9 percent drop of the benchmark Taiex Index.

Chiang Shang-yi, Mark Liu and Wei Che-Chia, who were also made executive vice presidents, will be groomed for the CEO position and they will each take six months to head the research and development, business development and operations divisions.

Chang in June 2009 had said he plans to keep the CEO job for three to five years after he replaced Rick Tsai, his handpicked successor as chief executive officer. Tsai, who was promoted to CEO from COO in 2005, was moved to head a new business unit.

Zhejiang, China-born Chang moved to the U.S. in 1949 via Hong Kong and began his semiconductor career in 1955 after graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1985, he accepted an invitation from the Taiwan government to head its Industrial Technology Research Institute, which spawned Taiwan Semiconductor and its smaller rival, United Microelectronics Corp. (2303)

To contact the reporter on this story: Adela Lin in Taipei at alin95@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net

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