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According to the latest announcement by Semiconductor Manufacturing International Company (SMIC), China’s largest chip group, it has made good on its plan to give its top executives shares of stock. up to $3.7 million at a 65% discount, as part of the company’s talent retention plan.
Specifically, the top three CEOs of the group were each offered 400,000 capped shares at 20 yuan each, which means that this discount would make them about $2.4 million below the market price. Liang Mong-song, Chiang Shang-yi and Zhou Zixue are the three CEOs named as recipients. Liang and Chiang were both former executives of the world’s leading chip company TSMC.
Next to that is a share-sharing plan, announced in May, that also includes 4,000 employees, about 23% of the company’s total employees. SMIC shares were trading at around 59 yuan earlier this week.
“The main target of this stock incentive plan is not the chief executive officer, but the company’s technical core personnel.” Zhou, the company’s chairman, said during the annual shareholder meeting. He added that the goal of the program is to allow “core engineers develop with the company”.
The plan also reflects SMIC’s continued efforts to retain and attract top talent in the industry, which has become a “national imperative” in China amid a protracted technology war with China. America
It can be said that the huge reward for SMIC executives shows the importance of retaining talent, especially Liang Mong-song, who was once hired by TSMC to hold important positions. TSMC is still a leader in advanced chip manufacturing.
Charles Shum, a Bloomberg analyst, said: “The high reward for Liang and his stay is an ideal demonstration of the Chinese company’s generosity in attracting and retaining talent, especially from rival TSMC.”
SMIC did not respond to requests for comment.
SMIC is now the world’s fourth-largest chip foundry and China’s best hope in achieving semiconductor self-sufficiency, an effort Beijing has sought to promote in the wake of sanctions. sanctions from Washington targeting advanced chip technologies. Therefore, SMIC has aggressively recruited former engineers from TSMC.
CEO Liang’s salary in 2020 alone is about $1.53 million, in addition to being given an apartment worth 22.5 million yuan (about $3.4 million), according to a company filing. As soon as news of the CEO threatened to leave the company late last year, SMIC said they gave him the apartment before a public debate broke out.
In a resignation letter widely cited by Chinese media in December, Liang wrote that he was “surprised and baffled” by SMIC’s decision to appoint Chiang Shang-yi, who is 75, as well. was Liang’s former boss at TSMC, serving as the company’s Vice President.
But despite billions of dollars spent developing the domestic chip supply chain, mainland China’s semiconductor industry still has a talent shortage, and this is weighing heavily on SMIC.
According to Charles Shum, as a result of US sanctions, SMIC has had to shift its focus from trying to develop leading chip manufacturing technology to developing next-generation chip manufacturing technologies, such as cutting-edge chiplets. up.
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