Foxconn’s Gou plans to step back from daily operations

But company says reported departure as chairman is ‘inaccurate’

Foxconn Technology Group chairman and CEO Terry Gou is planning to step back from daily operations to make way for a younger generation of company leaders, according to a company statement.

Foxconn chairman and CEO Terry Gou

A Reuters report on Monday suggested Gou, who founded Foxconn in 1974, would step down as chairman but continue to be involved in strategic decision-making. The report said Reuters asked Gou if he would quit as chairman.

“I don’t know where you got the information from. But I have to say, basically, I’m working toward that direction – to walk back to the second line, or retire,” the report quoted Gou as saying.

The report did say any decision would come after talks with the company’s board and that shareholders would be told more at Foxconn’s annual meeting in June.

In a statement, Foxconn called the Reuters report “inaccurate.”

“His wish is to withdraw from daily operations after having developed and mentored a new generation of talent to carry on Foxconn’s mission. As chairman, Mr. Gou will continue to provide strategic direction and guidance,” the statement said.

Gou is also CEO of Foxconn in addition to his position as chairman. The statement did not address whether he would stay on as the company’s chief executive and did not provide a timeline for any change in Gou’s involvement in daily operations.

Gou has been heavily involved at key points in Foxconn’s decision to build an LCD manufacturing plant in Wisconsin. He participated in site visits in southeastern Wisconsin and his relationship with then-Gov. Scott Walker was described by those involved in the deal as a key reason the company chose Wisconsin.

Gou also provided a personal 25% guarantee on any potential incentive clawbacks to help the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and Foxconn reach a final contract on a potential $3 billion subsidy for the project. The guarantee could be worth more than $240 million depending on when a contract default takes place.

A WEDC spokesman pointed to Foxconn’s statement calling the Reuters report inaccurate when asked if the agency had concern about Gou possibly stepping down as chairman.

Gou’s involvement in the Wisconsin project was also felt earlier this year when Foxconn reconsidered what kind of thin-film-transistor technology it would deploy in the state. After some uncertainty, the company said it would move forward with a Gen 6 LCD plant, citing talks with the White House and a conversation between Gou and President Donald Trump.

Foxconn Technology Group chairman and CEO Terry Gou is planning to step back from daily operations to make way for a younger generation of company leaders, according to a company statement.

Foxconn chairman and CEO Terry Gou

A Reuters report on Monday suggested Gou, who founded Foxconn in 1974, would step down as chairman but continue to be involved in strategic decision-making. The report said Reuters asked Gou if he would quit as chairman.

“I don’t know where you got the information from. But I have to say, basically, I’m working toward that direction – to walk back to the second line, or retire,” the report quoted Gou as saying.

The report did say any decision would come after talks with the company’s board and that shareholders would be told more at Foxconn’s annual meeting in June.

In a statement, Foxconn called the Reuters report “inaccurate.”

“His wish is to withdraw from daily operations after having developed and mentored a new generation of talent to carry on Foxconn’s mission. As chairman, Mr. Gou will continue to provide strategic direction and guidance,” the statement said.

Gou is also CEO of Foxconn in addition to his position as chairman. The statement did not address whether he would stay on as the company’s chief executive and did not provide a timeline for any change in Gou’s involvement in daily operations.

Gou has been heavily involved at key points in Foxconn’s decision to build an LCD manufacturing plant in Wisconsin. He participated in site visits in southeastern Wisconsin and his relationship with then-Gov. Scott Walker was described by those involved in the deal as a key reason the company chose Wisconsin.

Gou also provided a personal 25% guarantee on any potential incentive clawbacks to help the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and Foxconn reach a final contract on a potential $3 billion subsidy for the project. The guarantee could be worth more than $240 million depending on when a contract default takes place.

A WEDC spokesman pointed to Foxconn’s statement calling the Reuters report inaccurate when asked if the agency had concern about Gou possibly stepping down as chairman.

Gou’s involvement in the Wisconsin project was also felt earlier this year when Foxconn reconsidered what kind of thin-film-transistor technology it would deploy in the state. After some uncertainty, the company said it would move forward with a Gen 6 LCD plant, citing talks with the White House and a conversation between Gou and President Donald Trump.

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