HSINCHU, Taiwan, Nov. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- UMC (NYSE: UMC; TWSE: 2303), a leading global semiconductor foundry, announced that its board of directors today appointed senior vice president Mr. Po- Wen Yen as the company's new CEO, effective immediately. Former CEO Dr. Shih-Wei Sun was promoted to the position of UMC Vice Chairman. The move is intended to strengthen UMC's competitiveness as Mr. Yen leverages his successful 300mm manufacturing experience, just as the company brings its multi-billion dollar Fab 12A expansion online. "My top priority as CEO will be to ensure we meet customers' needs," said Mr. Yen. "In addition, I am eager to tackle upcoming challenges as UMC steers through industry and macroeconomic headwinds. I will focus on enhancing UMC's core competencies of foundry process technology and manufacturing through sound implementation and execution, and intend to take advantage of UMC's world-class management team to further benefit our customers, shareholders, and employees." Dr. Sun commented, "It has been rewarding during my four years as CEO to ensure quality execution of UMC's customer-driven strategy. I am grateful to now serve as the company's vice chairman, with the opportunity to shape the company's future direction from a strategic perspective. In the meantime, I feel very confident in Mr. Po- Wen Yen's abilities to help achieve UMC's business objectives." Prior to becoming CEO, Po-Wen Yen was UMC's senior vice president responsible for 12-inch operations. Mr. Yen joined UMC in 1986 and was responsible for the operation of fabs 8AB and 8C. He also served as the vice president for UMC-SG, UMC's 300mm operation in Singapore. In 2003, Mr. Yen received the National Manager Excellence Award from Chinese Professional Management Association. Mr. Yen earned his bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from National Tsing Hua University and his masters in Chemical Engineering from National Taiwan University.