Kao Ching-yuan (高清愿) founder and chairman of Uni-President (統一), announced that he will be stepping down from his post, marking the end of an era at the international food and beverages conglomerate

Uni-President chief announces plans to pass leadership torch

By Ted Chen, The China Post
November 13, 2013, 12:08 am TWN

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Kao Ching-yuan (高清愿) founder and chairman of Uni-President (統一), yesterday announced that he will be stepping down from his post, marking the end of an era at the international food and beverages conglomerate. Kao will retain his seat on the company’s board of directors, with Alex C. Lo (羅智先) stepping up to the vacated chairmanship, in addition to his current duties as company president.Incidentally, the reshuffling of the conglomerate’s highest echelon of leadership represents the passing of the torch to younger generations of the founder’s family. Lo is the son-in-law of Kao, whose wife holds key management roles in numerous arms of the conglomerate, while Kao Shiu-ling (高秀玲), daughter of Kao Ching-yuan, was recently appointed by election to a seat among the company’s board of directors. Kao Shiu-ling and Lo are expected to play key roles in the conglomerate’s leadership.

Kao Shiu-ling currently serves as the chairwoman of the conglomerates’ affiliates and subsidiaries that span across cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and department stores. In addition, Kao also serves on the boards of several conglomerate arms including its chain of convenience stores, construction company and securities brokerage firm.

According to reports, Lo had effectively served as the conglomerate’s de facto leader for several years before Kao’s resignation announcement yesterday.

Lo, however, stated that he expects to step down from his position as company president in three years, seemingly foretelling another leadership succession in the near future. Lo began his career at Uni-President in 1985, working at its North American branches, and rose to the post of company president and board member at the age of 51.

“This will be my last term as company president,” said Lo. “The Uni-President Group is abundant with capable talent, although a great deal of preparation is required, a successor will emerge in due time,” he added. Lo had previously stated that he is satisfied with the effort to propel a shift the conglomerate’s corporate culture, a process that began when he took the reins of leadership at Uni-President.

Since its founding in the 1960s, the Uni-President conglomerate has since expanded markedly in the food and beverages industries. The conglomerate operates the 7-Eleven convenience store chain, the Cosmed drugstore chain and the Starbucks in Taiwan.


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