Updated July 7 at 3:46 p.m. ET with statement from an MSI spokesperson.
A leading hardware company has lost its leader. Earlier today in Taiwan, MSI general manager and CEO Charles Chiang passed away after falling from one of the company’s buildings. Chiang, 56, had been with MSI for more than two decades before taking over as chief executive in 2019.
"Earlier today, MSI GM and CEO Charles Chiang passed away," an MSI spokesperson told Tom's Hardware. "Having been a part of the company for more than 20 years, he made outstanding contributions and was admired by his colleagues. Mr. Chiang was a respected leader in the MSI family, and helped pave the way for the brand’s success. We are all deeply saddened by the news, and are mourning the loss of Mr. Chiang. He will be deeply missed by the entire team."
MSI didn't elaborate on the circumstances surrounding Chiang's death.
Prior to taking the reins as CEO, Chiang had served as VP of desktop platform solutions, VP of R&D and AVP of R&D. His passing leaves a hole in one of industry’s most visible hardware companies. Founded in 1986, MSI (Micro-Star International) is a manufactures gaming laptops, gaming desktops, peripherals and components, including motherboards and graphics cards.
We had a chance to interview Chiang a couple of times and found him very open and eager to talk about his company and the PC industry, including some of its challenges. In our first discussion with Chiang, back in January 2019, he confirmed that Intel’s shortages had damaged the company’s motherboard business and he said that U.S. tariffs were causing price increases. He also explained why the company, which had focused on gaming, was moving into the prosumer space.
In June of 2019, we spoke with Chiang again and he gave us some valuable insights into how the U.S. trade war with China was affecting PC manufacturing by causing companies to move more production to Taiwan and other countries. At the time, he said that the U.S. market represented 25 percent of the company’s sales overall. He also predicted that X570 motherboards would be more expensive than their X470 predecessors, a forecast that turned out to be accurate.