Chairman of Chip Maker UMC Resigns

The chairman and CEO of United Microelectronics (UMC), the second-largest contract chip maker in the world, announced his resignation on Wednesday, with the company immediately naming his replacements.

Jackson Hu took over as chairman of UMC in early 2006 after his boss stepped down in a spat with the Taiwan government. Robert Tsao [CQ], founder and former chairman of UMC, left his job amid allegations of illegally investing in China. Last year, he and another UMC executive were exonerated when a Taiwan court ruled there was not enough evidence to convict them in the case.

Hu will take on a new role as a senior advisor to UMC.

In his place, UMC appointed a more youthful, professional management team aimed at revitalizing the chip maker, according to a statement.

UMC's chief financial officer, Stan Hung, will take over as chairman at UMC, while Sun Shih-wei, chief operating officer at the company, will take over the CEO role.

Tsao was indicted in 2006 for allegedly investing in and transferring chip technology to Chinese chip maker He Jian Technology. He admitted to advising He Jian during its start-up phase, but maintained that all help was within legal bounds.

Taiwan carefully controls chip investments in China, fearing it could lead to job losses on the island or that its technology could be used to bolster Chinese military might. The two separated in 1949 amid civil war, and Beijing has long threatened the use of force to take the island if it moves towards formal independence.

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