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Taiwan's EVA Air ousts founder's son amid family dispute

Friday, March 11, 2016 - 21:22

[TAIPEI] EVA Airways on Friday ousted the son of its late Taiwanese founder Chang Yung-fa as chairman, reportedly due to a family dispute over the business empire built by the airline and shipping tycoon.

Chang Kuo-wei, the youngest of 5 children and who had served as EVA Air's chairman since 2011, was replaced by company veteran Steve Lin in a board meeting months after the company founder's death.

Chang has said his father wanted him to take over the Evergreen Group conglomerate - which also spans cargo, hotel and steel businesses - but his siblings reportedly disputed the succession, according to local media.

"The board feels that with this controversial situation happening, we should return to professional management personnel to lead the team," Lin told reporters after the meeting on Friday.

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A company spokesman did not comment on the family aspect of the leadership change, saying the replacement was triggered by new appointments to the board by the tycoon's charity foundation following his death.

The foundation replaced the board seats previously held by Chang and his late father with Lin and eldest son Chang Kuo-hua.

The Evergreen founder - who died at age 90 in January - started his company in 1968 with a single cargo vessel and launched EVA Air in 1991, which is today Taiwan's second largest carrier.

He ranked 17th in the list of Taiwan's richest people with an estimated wealth of US$1.6 billion in 2015, according to Forbes magazine.

Chang Kuo-wei remains a member of EVA Air's board but could not immediately reached for comment.

The charismatic ex-chairman in recent years has led the airline in expanding into new markets, adding North American routes.

Under Chang, the company last year signed a deal worth more than US$6 billion for 26 Boeing jetliners, making it the island's biggest ever single commercial plane purchase.

AFP

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