Taiwanese tycoon Wang Yung-ching, known as the "god of management" for helping to build the island's leading Formosa Plastics Group, has died at the age of 91, the company announced on Oct. 16. Wang, who built the firm from scratch to become the second wealthiest man in Taiwan according to Forbes magazine, had been in the U.S. on a business trip and died peacefully in his sleep on Oct. 15.
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou expressed his condolences and praised Wang, much revered for his keen managerial sense and style, for his "distinguished contributions" to the island. "Chairman Wang was not only committed to promoting corporate growth but also a sustainable environment, social justice and cross-strait peace and prosperity," Ma said.
Born in Taipei to a poor family, Wang dropped out of school at the age of 15 to become an apprentice at a rice shop and opened his own store the next year. He founded Formosa Plastics Corp. in 1954 before building it into a business empire including petrochemicals, oil refining, semiconductors, biotechnology and hospitals. The group also has extensive investments in China in the petrochemical, power and medical sectors.
Forbes valued the fortune of Wang, who retired as chairman of Formosa Plastics in 2006, at $6.8 billion.
He was involved in various charity projects in mainland China, establishing 10,000 elementary schools and donating 100 million yuan (US$14.6 million)in quake relief following the devastating Sichuan earthquake in May.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008