Terry Gou

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Terry Gou
Terry Gou.jpg
Born Gou Tai-ming
(1950-10-08) October 8, 1950 (age 65)
Nationality  Republic of China
Occupation Founder and Chairman of Foxconn
Years active 1974–present
Net worth Increase$6.1 billion (March 2015)[1]
Children 4

Gou Tai-ming, also known as Terry Gou, (traditional Chinese: 郭台銘; simplified Chinese: 郭台铭; pinyin: Guō Táimíng) (born October 8, 1950 in Banqiao Township, Taipei County) is a Taiwanese tycoon who is the founder and chairman of Foxconn,[2] a company that manufactures electronics on contract for other companies such as Apple Inc. It is the largest such electronics manufacturing services company in the world, with factories in several countries, mostly in mainland China, where it employs 1.2 million people and is its largest exporter.[3]

Early life[edit]

Gou's parents lived in mainland China's Shanxi Province before they fled to Taiwan in 1949,[4] where Gou was born. His father had worked as a policeman in the past. As the first child of his family, Gou received education from elementary school to post college. After graduation, he continued to work in a rubber factory, working at a grinding wheel, and medicine plant until the age of 24. Gou has two younger brothers, Tai-Chiang Gou and Tai-Cheng Gou, who have both become successful businessmen as well.

Founding of Hon Hai[edit]

Gou founded Hon Hai in Taiwan in 1974[5] with $7500 in startup money and ten workers, making plastic parts for television sets in a rented shed in Tucheng, a suburb of Taipei.[6] A turning point came in 1980 when he received an order from Atari to make connectors to the console joystick.[6] He further expanded his business in the 1980s by embarking on an 11-month trip across the US in search of customers. As an aggressive salesman, Gou dropped in unannounced on companies and was able to get additional orders.[6]

Empire building[edit]

In 1988 he opened his first factory in mainland China, in Shenzhen, where his largest factory remains today. Operations in China took on a giant dimension when Gou vertically integrated the assembly process and facilities for workers. The manufacturing site became a campus that included housing, dining, and medical care for the workers, and even chicken farming to replenish the cafeteria.[6]

In 1996, Hon Hai started building chassis for Compaq desktops. From this turning point, he gained other customers for building the bare bones chassis including HP, IBM, and Apple, and would go on to grow into a consumer electronics giant within years.[6]

He now owns 13% of the public company and was ranked 239th on Forbes magazine's 2013 list of the world's richest people, with a net worth of US$5.1 billion.[1]

Gou drew controversy when comments he made during a board meeting about employees were translated into English as "Hon Hai has a workforce of over one million worldwide and as human beings are also animals, to manage one million animals gives me a headache."[7] Through Foxconn, Gou would protest that the translation was poor and took his comments out of context.

Regarding the January 2012 Taiwanese Presidential election, the Kuomingtang website indicates that, "Hon Hai Group Chairman Terry Gou threw his support behind Ma Ying-jeou."[8]

Personal life[edit]

Gou and his first wife, Serena Lin (Chinese: 林淑如; pinyin: Lín Shúrú, 1950–2005), have a son (born 1976) who works in the film industry and a daughter (born 1978) who worked in the financial sector. Gou founded an educational charity organization with Lin in 2000 and intends to eventually give away one third of his wealth to charity.[3] After her mother died, she quit her job and operated the charity organization.

In 2002 he bought a Roztěž castle near Kutná Hora in the Czech Republic for $30 million.[9]

In 2005, Serena Lin died of breast cancer at the age of 55. Gou's younger brother, Tai-Cheng Guo, died in 2007 of leukemia. Gou married his second wife, choreographer Delia Tseng (traditional Chinese: 曾馨瑩; simplified Chinese: 曾馨莹; pinyin: Zēng Xīnyíng, born 1974) on July 26, 2008.[10] Tseng and Gou have two children, a daughter (born April 30, 2009) and a son (born November 19, 2010).

In 2007 court documents were revealed showing that he had been blackmailed by a woman who, in 1992, secretly shot a video of them having sexual intercourse during an affair.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Terry Gou". Forbes. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Terry Gou". Time. March 29, 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Apple Investigating Foxconn's Steps to Deal With Suicides , The Wall Street Journal, 26 May 2010
  4. ^ Bruce Einhorn, Q&A with Hon Hai's Terry Gou, BusinessWeek, July 8, 2008. Retrieved on November 29, 2008.
  5. ^ "Founder and chairman, Hon Hai". CNN Money. November 16, 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Balfour, Frederik (2010-09-09). "The Man Who Makes Your iPhone". Businessweek. 
  7. ^ Foxconn Clarifies, Apologizes for CEO's Comparison of Workers to 'Animals', pcmag.com, January 2012. Retrieved on 5 January, 2012
  8. ^ Repudiation of the 1992 Consensus Will Set Back Cross-Strait Economic and Trade Relations, Koumingtang, December 8, 2011. Retrieved on 8 December, 2012
  9. ^ He spent £21m on a penthouse - but turns lights off to save money: Inside the amazing world of secret billionaire Terry Gou Daily Mail 26 June 2010
  10. ^ Tycoon Gou gets a better half, marries girlfriend, The China Post, July 27, 2008
  11. ^ Hon Hai chairman dismisses rumors of affair, Taipei Times, 22 April 2007

Further reading[edit]

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