This tale of an industrial turncoat ought to be a lesson to all high-tech captains
An employee of TSMC defected to Samsung is the focus of this tale of industrial espionage
TSMC has paid dearly due to their inaction and is losing clients, including Apple, Qualcomm and Nvidia, to Samsung, as a result
TSMC's blind trust on its former employee, and the resultant loss of business should become a case study for all industrial captains, especially those running high-tech companies
Here's a very brief quote
Many people were puzzled why the normally decisive TSMC had suddenly gone soft. In fact, in May 2010, the vice president of TSMC's human resources division at the time, Tu Long-chin, sent an e-mail to Liang saying he had seen reports that Liang was already employed by Samsung. That, Tu warned, would constitute a violation of the non-compete clause and lead to the forfeiture of his shares, which would be handed over to the TSMC Education and Culture Foundation.
Liang immediately replied, writing: "I have never, am not now and will never in the future do anything to let down the company."
A month later Tu and Richard Thurston, then general counsel and vice president of TSMC's legal division, held a meeting with Liang at which he promised that he "will not join Samsung now or in the future." The next day, he even sent a letter to Thurston, with whom he had been close, saying that he was thinking of resigning his position at Sungkyunkwan University.
During that time, Liang even wrote a letter to Morris Chang, insisting on his innocence and saying that he had TSMC blood in his system.
Ultimately, TSMC executives decided to believe their old comrade who had fought alongside them for more than a decade and pay him the more than NT$100 million his 738,000 withheld shares were worth in three installments.
But on July 13, 2011, just two months after collecting the final installment of the stock payout, Liang formally became the chief technology officer of Samsung Electronics' System LSI division. When the news spread, it came as a slap in the face to those who trusted him
To do justice to the story, you just gotta read it yourself
"Spock, did you see the looks on their faces?" "Yes, Captain, a sort of vacant contentment."