Morris Chang

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Morris Chang
National Policy Advisor to the President
In office
20 May 2000 – 19 May 2001
PresidentChen Shui-bian
Personal details

(1931-07-10) 10 July 1931 (age 92)
Ningbo, Chekiang Province, Republic of China
NationalityRepublic of China[1]
United States
SpouseSophie Chang
EducationMassachusetts Institute of Technology (BS, MS)
Stanford University (PhD)
Known forFounder, chairman and CEO, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC)
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese張忠謀
Simplified Chinese张忠谋

Morris Chang (Chinese: 張忠謀; pinyin: Zhāng Zhōngmóu, Ningbo Wu: Jiann阴平去 Zong阴平去mœü阳舒; born 10 July 1931) is an American-Taiwanese[2][3] businessman and electrical engineer, originally from Ningbo, China. He built his business career first in the United States and then subsequently in Taiwan. He is the founder, as well as former chairman and CEO, of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). He is known as the semiconductor industry founder of Taiwan.[4] As of April 2024, his net worth was estimated at US$3.4 billion.[5]


Early life in China[edit]

Chang was born in the city Ningbo, situated within Chekiang in China, in 1931. When he was young, he wanted to become a novelist or journalist, though his father persuaded him otherwise.[6] The elder Chang was an official in charge of finance for the Yin county government and later a bank manager.[7] Due to his father's career and the outbreak of World War II/Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945),[8] the Chang family moved from Nanjing, Guangzhou, Chongqing and Shanghai due to the war situation.

Chang spent most of his primary school years in British Hong Kong between the ages of six and eleven. In 1941, the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong began and Chang's family went back to Shanghai and Ningbo to live for a few months, eventually making their way to the temporary capital, Chongqing. In 1948, as China was in the height of the restarted Chinese Civil War, a year before People’s Republic of China (PRC) was established and the Republic of China (ROC)'s retreat to Taiwan, Chang again moved to Hong Kong.[7]

Moving to the United States[edit]

In 1949, Chang moved to the United States to attend Harvard University. He transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in his sophomore year[9] and received his bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT in 1952 and 1953, respectively. Chang failed two consecutive doctoral qualification examinations and eventually left MIT without obtaining a PhD.[7] In 1955 he turned down a job offer from Ford Motor Company and joined Sylvania Semiconductor, then known as a small semiconductor division of Sylvania Electric Products.[10] He was tasked with improving germanium transistor yields, besides device development.[6]

Three years later, he moved to Texas Instruments in 1958, which was then rapidly rising in its field. After three years at TI, he rose to manager of the engineering section of the company. It was then, in 1961, that TI decided to invest in him by giving him the opportunity to obtain his PhD degree, which he received in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1964.[11]

Chang worked on a four-transistor project for TI where the manufacturing was done by IBM. This was one of the early semiconductor foundry relationships. Also at TI, Chang pioneered the then controversial idea of pricing semiconductors "ahead of the cost curve", which meant sacrificing early profits ("short term") to gain market share and achieve manufacturing yields that would result in greater profits over an extended timeline ("long-term").[12][13]

During his 25-year career (1958–1983) at Texas Instruments, he rose up in the ranks to become the group vice president responsible for TI's worldwide semiconductor business.[14] In the late 1970s, when TI's focus turned to calculators, digital watches and home computers, Chang felt like his career focused on semiconductors was at a dead end at TI.[3]

Chang left TI and later became president and chief operating officer of General Instrument Corporation (1984–1985).[15]

Move to Taiwan[edit]

In the early 1980s, while still at Texas Instruments, Chang witnessed TI's factory in Japan achieving twice the chip production yield as TI's factory in Texas.[3] Observing that the staff and technicians in Japan are better qualified and had lower turnover, and failing to recruit the same caliber of staff in the United States, he concluded that future of advanced manufacturing appeared to be in Asia.[3]

After he left General Instrument Corporation, Sun Yun-suan, Premier of the Republic of China (ROC), recruited him to become chairman and president of the Industrial Technology Research Institute in Taiwan, where the ROC government is now based, having lost the mainland.[16] This marked his return to the ROC, initially thought to last for a few years, three decades after he left during the chaotic Chinese Civil War mainly between the People's Republic of China and the ROC.[3]

As the head of a government-sponsored non-profit, he was in charge of promoting industrial and technological development in Taiwan. Chang founded TSMC in 1987 thanks to transfer of production technology and license of intellectual property from Philips in exchange for 27.6 percent equity and financing from the government's National Development Fund, Executive Yuan for 48.3 percent stake.[17][18] This is the beginning of the period where firms increasingly saw value in outsourcing their manufacturing capabilities to Asia. Soon, TSMC became one of the world's most profitable chip makers. Chang left ITRI in 1994 and became chairman of Vanguard International Semiconductor Corporation from 1994 to 2003 while continuing to serve as chairman of TSMC. In 2005, he handed TSMC's CEO position to Rick Tsai.[19]

In June 2009, Chang returned to the position of TSMC's CEO once again.[20] On June 5, 2018, Chang announced his retirement, succeeded by C.C. Wei as CEO and Mark Liu as chairman.[21][22] Chang was awarded the Order of Propitious Clouds, First Class in September 2018.[23]

Chang has served as Presidential Envoy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to APEC several times. He represented Chen Shui-bian in 2006.[24][25] Tsai Ing-wen appointed Chang to the same role six times from 2018 to 2023.[26][27][28][29]

In an interview with the Brookings Institution in 2022, Chang said the US government’s efforts to increase onshore chip manufacturing by spending tens of billions dollars would be a very expensive and wasteful exercise in futility, the US would increase onshore semiconductor manufacturing somewhat at a very high cost, high unit costs, and non-competitive in the world market to compete with factories like TSMC. Chang said TSMC chairman Mark Liu decided to invest US$12 billion in Arizona at the urging of the US government.[30][31]


Morris Chang obtained American citizenship in 1962.[3] He has represented as special envoy four times on behalf of the Taiwanese delegation to participate APEC Meetings under the name Chinese Taipei.[32]

In 2009, Chang performed the role of Master Dragon in the first episode of “Let’s Go Guang!” a multimedia language program for children by aha!Chinese. [33]

MIT named Building E52 the “Morris and Sophie Chang Building” in honor of Chang and his wife in 2016. Building E52 is the original home of the MIT Sloan School of Management and headquarters of the MIT Department of Economics. [34][35]

Chang's wife, Sophie Chang, is a cousin of Terry Gou, the founder of Foxconn.[36] Chang has two stepdaughters through Sophie, and one daughter from his first marriage.[6]


Honorary doctorates[edit]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

Morris Chang was conferred the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon by President Tsai Ing-wen, 2018

Authored books[edit]

  • 張忠謀自傳(上冊) 1931-1964 [Autobiography of Morris C.M. Chang Vol. 1 (1931-1964)] (in Chinese). Taiwan: 天下文化. 1998. ISBN 9576214491.


  1. ^ Taiwan since 1949
  2. ^ PTI (13 April 2023). "I am a Taiwanese citizen, says Morris Chang - the man at centre of Adani-China row". The Economic Times. Retrieved 4 August 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Mozur, Paul; Liu, John (4 August 2023). "The Chip Titan Whose Life's Work Is at the Center of a Tech Cold War". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 August 2023.
  4. ^ School of Engineering (4 May 2015). "Morris Chang — founding chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor". California: Stanford University.
  5. ^ "Forbes profile: Morris Chang". Forbes. Retrieved 12 April 2024.
  6. ^ a b c "Morris Chang: Foundry Father". IEEE Spectrum. 19 April 2011. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  7. ^ a b c "台灣半導體產業教父——張忠謀". 認識名人 Great People. Ministry of Education (Taiwan). Archived from the original on 4 October 2023. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  8. ^ Sun, Vlasova, Harmsen, Lianggang, Evgenia, Peter. "Shanghai 1937 – Where World War II Began". SHANGHAI 1937: WHERE WORLD WAR II BEGAN. Retrieved 31 December 2020. When did World War II begin? Shanghai 1937: Where World War II Began answers that question in a way most audiences will find surprising. Americans might say December 7, 1941… The day the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. For Europeans, it was September 1, 1939… When Nazi Germany invaded Poland. But in China, people will tell you a different date. August 13, 1937.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Stanford Engineering Hero Lecture: Morris Chang in conversation with President John L. Hennessy, retrieved 8 August 2019
  10. ^ Perry, supra n. 1
  11. ^ Zhang, Wenxian; Alon, IIan (2009). Biographical Dictionary of New Chinese Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders (PDF). Edward Elgar Publishing. doi:10.4337/9781848449510. ISBN 9781848449510.
  12. ^ "Stanford Engineering Hero Morris Chang honored for revolutionizing chip making". Stanford School of Engineering. 9 June 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  13. ^ BUS, FRANCOIS FRANCIS (2020). L'EPOQUE OU LES PUCES FONT LEURS LOIS : histoire des semiconducteurs vecue de chez texas instruments. BOOKS ON DEMAND. ISBN 9782322256853. OCLC 1225066813.
  14. ^ BUS, FRANCOIS FRANCIS (2020). L'EPOQUE OU LES PUCES FONT LEURS LOIS : histoire des semiconducteurs vecue de chez Texas Instruments. BOOKS ON DEMAND. ISBN 9782322256853.
  15. ^ "Oral History Interview: Morris Chang". SEMI. 24 August 2007. Retrieved 22 January 2024.
  16. ^ Tsai, Terence; Cheng, Borshiuan (2006). The Silicon Dragon: High-tech Industry in Taiwan. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 92. ISBN 9781847203137.
  17. ^ "與飛利浦數度交手" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). CommonWealth Magazine. 1 April 1997. Archived from the original on 14 March 2023. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  18. ^ "猶太人與台積電的奇特淵源". (in Chinese (Taiwan)). 上報. 16 February 2021. Archived from the original on 30 January 2023. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  19. ^ Wang, Lisa (13 November 2013). "TSMC says Morris Chang is retiring as CEO — again". The Taipei Times. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  20. ^ "Back to the future for TSMC's new CEO". Taiwan Today. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan). 12 June 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  21. ^ Horwitz, Josh (5 June 2018). "After spawning a $100 billion industry, Taiwan's "godfather" of computer chips is retiring". Quartz. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  22. ^ Chang, Chien-chung; Huang, Frances (5 June 2018). "It's official: TSMC's Chang retires after board reshuffle".
  23. ^ "TSMC founder receives Order of Propitious Clouds". Taipei Times. 14 September 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  24. ^ "'Father of semiconductor industry' represents President Chen in Hanoi". Taiwan Today. 10 November 2006. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  25. ^ Chen, Rodney (31 October 2006). "TSMC chairman Morris Chang to represent Taiwan at APEC summit". Digitimes. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  26. ^ Li, Lauly (3 October 2018). "Taiwan appoints TSMC founder Morris Chang as APEC envoy". Nikkei. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  27. ^ "Tsai taps Morris Chang as APEC envoy". Taipei Times. 15 October 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  28. ^ Wen, Kuei-hsiang; Yu, Hsiang; Huang, Frances (10 November 2020). "Tsai names TSMC founder as Taiwan's envoy to APEC summit (update)". Central News Agency.
  29. ^ "TSMC founder in US for APEC meet". Taipei Times. 16 November 2023. Retrieved 23 December 2023.
  30. ^ Vigliarolo, Brandon. "US chip output growth a futile exercise, warns TSMC founder". Retrieved 29 March 2024.
  31. ^ Wang, Lisa (22 April 2022). "US' chip bid 'futile,' Morris Chang says - Taipei Times". Retrieved 29 March 2024.
  32. ^ "APEC Leader's Representative Morris Chang holds international press conference". Retrieved 5 August 2023.
  33. ^ "Morris Chang - Biography". IMDb. Retrieved 1 March 2024.
  34. ^ "MIT to name signature building on the Charles River in honor of Morris and Sophie Chang". MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2024.
  35. ^ "Photos: MIT celebrates dedication of the Chang Building | MIT Sloan". 28 February 2024. Retrieved 2 March 2024.
  36. ^ "China beats Taiwan to the punch in announcing new vaccine delivery". Reuters. 1 September 2021. Retrieved 7 February 2024.
  37. ^ "GSA's Prestigious Dr. Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award Honors Stanford University President, Dr. John Hennessy". 19 October 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  38. ^ "Morris Chang '52 Life Member Emeritus". MIT. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  39. ^ "Goldman Sachs | Press Releases - Morris Chang to Join Goldman Sachs' Board of Directors". Goldman Sachs. 14 November 2001. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  40. ^ "Taiwan Semi CEO Exits Goldman Board". Wall Street Journal. 27 December 2002. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  41. ^ "Presidential Office names advisors". Taipei Times. 21 May 2001. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  42. ^ "Members". Committee of 100. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  43. ^ "Kung fu novelist Jin Yong to receive honorary degree". Taipei City: Taipei Times. Central News Agency. 8 May 2007. Jin Yong will be one of three people to be awarded honorary doctorates in an event marking NCCU's 80th anniversary. The other two are Cloud Gate Dance Theater founder Lin Hwai-min (林懷民) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co chairman Morris Chang (張忠謀).
  44. ^ "Asia University, Taiwan 歡迎光臨亞洲大學全球資訊網". Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  45. ^ "Dr. Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award Nomination Form".
  46. ^ "IEEE Robert N. Noyce Medal Recipients" (PDF). IEEE. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  47. ^ "Directory of NAE Members".
  48. ^ "Nikkei Asia Prize, List of Winners". Archived from the original on 10 November 2014.
  49. ^ "Computer History Museum Names Morris Chang, John Hennessy, David Patterson and Charles Thacker to List of Fellow Award Honorees; Celebrates Twentieth Anniversary of Fellow Award Program". Computer History Museum. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  50. ^ "TSMC's Chang receives SIA award | EE Times".
  51. ^ "IEEE Medal of Honor Recipients" (PDF). IEEE. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
  52. ^ "Morris Chang Calls on Government to Cherish Local Industries". Kuomintang. 27 November 2011. President Ma Ying-jeou awarded the Order of Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon to 12 figures who had made long-term contributions to the country and society, including Morris Chang (張忠謀)
  53. ^ "Visionary Award - SPIE". Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  54. ^ "Decorations of the Republic of China (Taiwan)". Office of the President of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Retrieved 4 April 2020. 2018-9-14 Republic of China Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) Founder Morris Chang

External links[edit]