Terry Gou

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Terry Guo
Terry Gou.jpg
Gou in 2011
Born Guo Tai-ming
(1950-10-08) October 8, 1950 (age 66)
Banqiao, Taipei County, Taiwan
Nationality Taiwan
Occupation Founder and Chairman of Foxconn
Years active 1974–present
Net worth IncreaseUS$6.6 billion (September 2016)[1]
Children 4

Terry Gou (Chinese: 郭台銘; pinyin: Guō Táimíng; born October 8, 1950) is a Taiwanese tycoon who is the founder and chairman of Foxconn,[2] a company that does contract manufacturing of electronics for other companies such as Apple Inc. It is the largest 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]

Guo was born in Banqiao Township, Taiwan County (now Banqiao District, New Taipei). His parents lived on mainland China's Shanxi Province before they fled to Taiwan in 1949,[4] where Guo was born. His father was a career police officer. As the first child of his family, Guo 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. Guo has two younger brothers, Tai-Chiang Guo and Tai-Cheng Guo, who have both become successful businessmen as well.

Founding of Hon Hai[edit]

Terry Guo founded Hon Hai in Taiwan in 1974[5] with $7500 in startup money and ten elderly 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 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, Guo broke in uninvited into many companies and was able to get additional orders, despite having security called on him multiple times.[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 Guo vertically integrated the assembly process and facilities for workers. The manufacturing site became a campus that included housing, dining, and medical care and burial 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]

Guo 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, Guo would protest that the translation was poor and took his comments out of context.

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

Personal life[edit]

Guo and his first wife, Serena Lin (林淑如; 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. Guo 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. Guo's younger brother, Tai-Cheng Guo, died in 2007 of leukemia. Gou married his second wife, choreographer Delia Tseng (曾馨瑩; Zēng Xīnyíng; born 1974) on July 26, 2008.[10] Tseng and Guo have two children, a daughter (born April 30, 2009) and a son (born November 19, 2010).


  1. ^ a b "Terry Guo". 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, Kuomintang, 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 Guo Daily Mail 26 June 2010
  10. ^ Tycoon Gou gets a better half, marries girlfriend, The China Post, July 27, 2008

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]