The chairman of China-based chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) resigned after leading the company’s board since September 2021, with his vice immediately promoted to the top job.

In a stock market statement, the semiconductor company announced Gao Yonggang had quit as chairman, executive director and chairman of its nomination committee today (17 July) due to what it described as job adjustment.

Gao took the permanent role in March 2022 having been acting chairman since September 2021, when his predecessor Zhou Zixue resigned for health reasons.

Alongside his board-level responsibilities, Gao was CFO at the chipmaker prior to relinquishing this job in February 2023.

SMIC noted the outgoing chairman had “no disagreement with the board” and indicated there were no relevant information on the reasons for his departure for investors.

Gao has been replaced by his former vice chairman Liu Xunfeng, who holds a number of senior roles across various industrial organisations in China, including Shanghai Chemical Industry Park Development Company; China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation; and the Shanghai Society for Advanced Materials.

Liu is also a member of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a political advisory organisation to national authorities.

South China Morning Post claimed the latest change at the top of SMIC was a reflection of how authorities in Beijing are exerting greater control over the company, which is under pressure from US sanctions.