Taiwan’s EVA Airways has said internally yesterday that its chairman Chang Kuo-wei, the youngest son of the late Evergreen Group chairman Chang Yung-fa, will be taking over the chairmanship of Evergreen Group, an announcement that looks likely to fuel a family feud.
Chang Kuo-wei will retain his position at EVA Airways, and will also be inhering the entire fortune of his father Chang Yung-fa, who passed away in January.
In a separate announcement, Evergreen Group confirmed that Chang Yung-fa named Chang Kuo-wei to take over as group chairman in his will, but the succession process was still being discussed among other heirs. The succession is likely to be disputed.
Taiwan, famous in Asia for its soap operas, is likely to see the Evergreen inheritance saga play out for some time. Chang Kuo-wei was the only son from the Evergreen’s founder second marriage, the other three sons coming from Chang Yung-fa’s first marriage.
The news is clearly a surprise to employees at the containerline, who had told Splash on the day Chang Yung-fa died that his third son would take over as chairman.
Evergreen Group said that Chang Kuo-wei’s unilateral declaration of his promotion and details of the will is a “very regrettable” act.
“It is hoped that based on the principle of corporate governance, each of the heirs will run their respective companies within the group well to ensure its sustainable development,” Evergreen Group said.
When contacted by Splash, a spokesperson in Evergreen said the group will make an official announcement when the takeover process is completed.
What Chang Kuo-wei will inherit cash-wise is debatable. Chang Yung-fa’s wealth was estimated at $1.69bn, but the philanthropist had announced in 2012 he would leave his entire wealth to charity. “The happiness from earning a lot of money is fleeting because of the pain you feel when you lose it,” he said at the time.