Chip boss Doris Hsu named EY World Entrepreneur of the Year

GlobalWafers chairperson and CEO Doris Hsu
Taiwan-based GlobalWafers chairperson and CEO Doris Hsu is named the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year as chip company continues impressive trajectory

With rapid digital transformation, decarbonisation, and new technologies like artificial intelligence on everyone’s mind, it’s a good time to be in the semiconductor business.

It may come as little surprise then to hear that EY’s World Entrepreneur of the Year is Doris Hsu, chairperson and CEO of Taiwanese company GlobalWafers.

Hsu, who made the 2022 Forbes Asia Power Businesswoman List, was selected from 45 country winners from around the world at an event held in Monaco. She takes the title from Argentinian Gaston Taratuta, founder and CEO of the digital consultancy Aleph Group.

GlobalWafers is the world’s third largest producer of silicon wafers – the thin material (often silicon less than a millimetre thick) that circuits are constructed on to create microchips. GlobalWafers has 17 offices across nine countries in the US, Europe and Asia, with annual revenue of around US$2.3 billion.

Impressive financials for 2022 see GlobalWafers soar

The company announced last year that it intends to invest US$3.6 billion in new manufacturing capability – which includes new factories and expansion of existing ones. The company, which is currently valued at US$7 billion, broke ground last year on the first silicon wafer plant to be built in the US in two decades. 

That expansion is in part due to a failed takeover bid for German manufacturer Siltronic in February 2022. Hsu decided to opt for Plan B which is the expansion of current facilities, including a significant investment in Sherman in the US. This comes as political tensions increase between the US and China, with Taiwan at the heart of that.

Despite this political and trade tension, the financial results for GlobalWafers in 2022 were impressive. Revenue was up 15% year on year, gross profit up 30.3%, and gross profit margin standing at 43.2%.

Originally part of Sino-American Silicon Products Inc., GlobalWafers became an independent company in 2011 and has not looked back since – producing high-quality silicon wafers for demanding customers.

EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates visionary founders, CEOs and business leaders from around the world. The winner is selected by a panel of independent judges, who are themselves entrepreneurs. The shortlisted candidates were assessed on four criteria – entrepreneurial spirit, purpose, growth, and impact.

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