Gou in 2011
October 8, 1950
Banqiao, Taipei County, Taiwan
|Occupation||Founder and Chairman of Foxconn|
|Net worth||US$6.6 billion (September 2016)|
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, 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.
Gou was born in Banqiao Township, Taipei County (now Banqiao District, New Taipei). His parents lived on mainland China's Shanxi Province before they fled to Taiwan in 1949, where Gou was born. His father was a career police officer. 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. Guo has two younger brothers, Tai-Chiang Guo and Tony Guo, who have both become successful businessmen as well.
Terry Guo founded Hon Hai in Taiwan in 1974 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. A turning point came in 1980 when he received an order from Atari to make the console joystick. 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.
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.
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.
Gou's net worth was valued at US$5.7 billion in 2011. As of 2013, he owned 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. By 2015, Gou was worth US$6.7 billion. The next year, Forbes reported that Gou's net worth had fallen to US$5.6 billion.
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." Through Foxconn, Guo would protest that the translation was poor and took his comments out of context.
In the 2012 Taiwanese presidential election, Gou endorsed Ma Ying-jeou, stating that Ma was an "experienced, outstanding helmsman." After Donald Trump won the 2016 United States presidential election, Gou was the subject of a spoof open letter in Bloomberg, in which author Tim Culpan was severely critical of Trump. The article was mistakenly reported as having been written by Gou himself. Earlier that year, it was widely reported that Gou was considering a 2020 Taiwanese presidential bid, and such speculation continued into 2017.
Guo and his first wife, Serena Lin (林淑如; Lín Shúrú; 1950–2005), have a son who works in the film and real estate industries and a daughter who worked in the financial sector. Guo founded an educational charity with Lin in 2000 and intends to eventually give away one third of his wealth to charity. After her mother died, Gou's daughter assumed leadership her mother's charity.
In 2005, Serena Lin died of breast cancer at the age of 55. Gou's younger brother, Tony Guo, died in 2007 of leukemia. Also that year, Hsu Ching-wei accused Gou of having an affair during the 1990s. Gou married his second wife, choreographer Delia Tseng (曾馨瑩; Zēng Xīnyíng; born 1974) on July 26, 2008. Tseng and Guo have three children. Together, they have decided to give 90% of Gou's wealth away.
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