Formosa Plastics Group Chairman Wang Yung Ching, one of the most well-known figures in Asia's plastics industry, passed away Oct. 15 during a business trip to the United States.
Wang, 92, started Formosa in 1954 in Taiwan with a loan from the U.S. government, and built it into an industrial giant with 94,000 employees, annual sales of US$60 billion and operations in Taiwan, mainland China, Indonesia, Vietnam and the United States.
The company makes a variety of resins, including polypropylene, PVC and polyethylene, and has operations in diverse businesses including integrated circuits and textiles.
``Thanks to his vision and his philosophy of frugality, continuous improvement and rationalization of operations, that small company has grown to be one of the largest industrial operations in the world,'' Formosa said in announcing his passing.
Wang, who is known in Taiwan as the ``god of management,'' stepped back from day-to-day operations in 2006 when he named seven executives to the company's executive management center. He reportedly had only an elementary school education.
Bloomberg News reported Wang is Taiwan's second-richest man, with a net worth of US$6.8 billion. Three of Taiwan's 10 largest publicly traded companies are in the Formosa group, including Formosa Plastics Corp., Formosa Petrochemical Corp. and plastic pipe maker Nan Ya Plastics Corp.
Formosa's statement said Wang was very involved in charitable projects, founding hospitals and universities in Taiwan and mainland China and setting up foundations worldwide.
In Taiwan, those efforts include Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University, Chang Gung Institute of Technology and MingChi University of Technology. In mainland China, he opened a third hospital in May.
In the United States, he established several foundation trusts that provide grants and scholarships to community organizations, churches, hospitals and schools.