Alex Lo to step down as Uni-Pres­i­dent GM 2016

The China Post - - TAIWAN BUSINESS - BY ENRU LIN

Alex C. Lo ( ) said yesterday that he will be step­ping down as gen­eral man­ager of UniPres­i­dent En­ter­prises Cor­po­ra­tion ( ) next year.

Lo took his cur­rent po­si­tion in 2013 af­ter the res­ig­na­tion of his fa­ther-in-law, Kao Ching-yuan (

), founder and chair­man of Uni-Pres­i­dent.

Lo had an­nounced that he will leave the post in 2016 at 60 years old, in ac­cor­dance with com­pany tra­di­tion. Uni- Pres­i­dent pol­icy stip­u­lates that its gen­eral man­ager re­signs at the age of 60.

At a com­pany share­hold­ers’ meet­ing, Lo said that his ten­ure has felt fleet­ing and that prepara- tions for the lead­er­ship tran­si­tion are “al­ways un­der­way.”

Uni-Pres­i­dent, Tai­wan’s largest food con­glom­er­ate, en­tered the mar­ket al­most 50 years ago.

Since its found­ing, the con­glom­er­ate has ex­panded from food and bev­er­age prod­ucts and cur­rently op­er­ates Car­refour, the Cosmed drug­store chain and the 7-Eleven con­ve­nience store chain.

So­cial Po­lar­iza­tion Ahead

The con­sumer mar­ket it­self drives gen­er­a­tional turnover, Lo said.

In the fu­ture, the struc­ture of Tai­wan’s so­ci­ety will emerge into a more prom­i­nent “M-shape” dis­tri­bu­tion, in that so­ci­ety will be in­creas­ingly po­lar­ized with an ex- treme rich and an ex­treme poor.

Those who are best pre­pared will be the vic­tors and those who use strate­gies of the past will en­counter se­ri­ous chal­lenges, he said.

On McDon­ald’s: No Com­ment

Asked for opin­ion on UniPres­i­dent’s ru­mored pur­chase of McDon­ald’s Tai­wan, Lo de­clined to com­ment.

Ear­lier this week, U.S.-based fast-food gi­ant McDon­ald’s an­nounced plans to sell all 413 of its Tai­wan stores to a fran­chise op­er­a­tor, as part of a plan to lower op­er­a­tional costs. The sale would end over 30 years of com­pa­ny­owned stores.

McDon­ald’s

is now seek­ing a firm to con­tinue the McDon­ald’s brand in the Tai­wan mar­ket, in a trans­ac­tion that is es­ti­mated to ex­ceed NT$10 bil­lion.

Asked about ru­mors that UniPres­i­dent is a prospec­tive buyer, Lo de­clined to com­ment.

“Since there has been no con­tact (be­tween Uni-Pres­i­dent and McDon­ald’s), it is im­po­lite for me to speak pub­licly,” he said.

“On this mat­ter, it is not very good to speak ca­su­ally be­fore the point of con­tact.”

Ac­cord­ing to ini­tial re­ports, ne­ti­zens have also called on I-Mei Foods Co. Ltd ( ) to take over the man­age­ment of McDon­ald’s Tai­wan. The com­pany has said the pur­chase “is not im­pos­si­ble.”

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