Profile: Terry Gou (Foxconn)

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Following the first in a series of “profile” posts , we now focus on the founder of Foxconn – famous for its massive factories, masses of workers, and mass production of iPhones (and other gadgets). It is also infamous for working conditions and a recent spate of suicides. So it was interesting to note that it is now doing a bit of PR (with Burson-Marsteller), including a profile of its founder and chairman, Terry Gou (h/t Danwei).

• A profile & some PR from Foxconn RT @danwei: A portrait of Foxconn’s Terry Gou: Worker suicides and… http://bit.ly/aH9slo

The Bloomberg article includes some interesting background details of the man who drives the company:

• “Gou’s family came from Shanxi province in north-central China. His father fought with the Kuomintang army in the civil war and fled along with Chiang Kai-shek after his defeat in 1949 by the Communists led by Mao Zedong. He eventually became a mid- rank police officer in Taipei. Terry is the eldest of his three boys”.

• “The colossus that Gou (pronounced “Gwo”) runs today started with a $7,500 loan from his mother. His first world headquarters was a shed he rented in 1974 in a gritty Taipei suburb called Tucheng, which means Dirt City in Mandarin”.

• “Gou’s first break came in 1980, when he started supplying Atari Inc. with connectors that linked the joystick cable to its 2600 video-game console”.

It is, of course, not an entirely happy or uncontroversial story, but it is an interesting one that shines a light inside a usually dimly lit part of the global supply chain in China. It is a long article and a good read – also covering the business’s history, working conditions, and moves inland.

See our previous posts with Foxconn coverage here.

3 Responses to “Profile: Terry Gou (Foxconn)”

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