Innolux and Sharp See Changes at the Top

Foxconn has begun to integrate Sharp’s display business with its Innolux subsidiary, with a focus on IGZO TFT-LCDs and OLEDs. Innolux chairman and CEO Tuan Hsing-chien resigned from his positions at the firm last week to move to Sharp, where he will work to integrate the business of the two display makers.

Former Innolux CEO Tuan Hsing chienTuan told a press conference that his new job is to “help enhance the competitiveness of Sharp’s LCD business”. His resignation coincides with the nomination of Foxconn vice chairman Tai Cheng-wu as Sharp’s new president.

Considering his experience with merging the businesses of Innolux and Chimei Optoelectronics (Display Monitor Vol 16 No 44), Tuan appears to be well-suited to the role, said IHS’ David Hsieh.

Tuan emphasised the display advantages that IGZO can deliver. He said that Innolux is adjusting its equipment to produce mid-sized IGZO panels on its own, and expected to begin mass production by the end of the year. A separate source elaborated on this. Innolux is said to be remodelling a G5 and G6 a-Si factory to produce 8″ – 12″ IGZO TFT-LCD panels, with an initial monthly capacity of 20,000 substrates.

Tuan added that OLED technology is a consideration; Innolux ‘has a chance’ to ramp up production of its current smartphone OLED displays in 2018, at a G4.5 factory. Sharp may also begin prodction at a G6 plant in 2019.

Innolux’s board of directors appointed company president Wang Jyh-chau to fill the spot left by Tuan.

In related news, Innolux has begun to make personnel changes at Sharp, starting at the board level. 12 of the 13 members of Sharp’s board – including CEO Kozo Takahashi – will step down as soon as the company acquisition is complete, said the Wall Street Journal. The board will shrink to nine members, six of whom will be appointed by Foxconn. Takahashi will be replaced by Foxconn veteran Tai Jeng-wu.

A source told Reuters that as many as 3,000 employees in Japan alone are being considered for layoffs

Analyst Comment

David Hsieh of IHS wrote an excellent analysis of the Foxconn-Sharp acquisition last month. See (TA)