Terry Gou

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Terry Gou
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 5

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]

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,[4] 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.

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]

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]

Gou's net worth was valued at US$5.7 billion in 2011.[7] 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.[1] By 2015, Gou was worth US$6.7 billion.[8] The next year, Forbes reported that Gou's net worth had fallen to US$5.6 billion.[9]

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."[10][11] Through Foxconn, Guo would protest that the translation was poor and took his comments out of context.

Political stances[edit]

In the 2012 Taiwanese presidential election, Gou endorsed Ma Ying-jeou,[12][13] stating that Ma was an "experienced, outstanding helmsman."[14] 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.[15] The article was mistakenly reported as having been written by Gou himself.[16] Earlier that year, it was widely reported that Gou was considering a 2020 Taiwanese presidential bid,[17][18] and such speculation continued into 2017.[19][20]

Personal life[edit]

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.[21] Guo founded an educational charity with Lin in 2000 and intends to eventually give away one third of his wealth to charity.[3] After her mother died, Gou's daughter assumed leadership her mother's charity.[21]

In 2002 he bought a Roztěž castle near Kutná Hora in the Czech Republic for $30 million.[22]

In 2005, Serena Lin died of breast cancer at the age of 55.[6][23] Gou's younger brother, Tony Guo, died in 2007 of leukemia.[24][25] Also that year, Hsu Ching-wei accused Gou of having an affair during the 1990s.[26] Gou married his second wife, choreographer Delia Tseng (曾馨瑩; Zēng Xīnyíng; born 1974) on July 26, 2008.[27] Tseng and Guo have three children.[28] Together, they have decided to give 90% of Gou's wealth away.[21]


  1. ^ a b "Terry Guo". Forbes. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Terry Gou". Time. 29 March 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. ^ Einhorn, Bruce (7 July 2002). "Online Extra: Q&A with Hon Hai's Terry Gou". Bloomberg. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "Founder and chairman, Hon Hai". CNN Money. November 16, 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Balfour, Frederik; Culpan, Tim (9 September 2010). "The Man Who Makes Your iPhone". Bloomberg. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  7. ^ "HTC’s Cher Wang edges out Terry Gou in ‘Forbes’ list". Taipei Times. 11 March 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  8. ^ "Fubon’s Tsai brothers top ‘Forbes’ list". Taipei Times. 26 June 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  9. ^ "Tsai Eng-meng loses US$2.9bn, still tops list". Taipei Times. 5 March 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  10. ^ Poeter, Damon (19 January 2012). "Report: Foxconn Boss Compares His Workforce to Animals". PC Magazine. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  11. ^ Blodget, Henry (19 January 2012). "CEO OF APPLE PARTNER FOXCONN: 'Managing One Million Animals Gives Me A Headache'". Business Insider. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  12. ^ Ruhala, Emily (12 January 2012). "Taiwan Re-Elects President Ma, Bolstering Ties to China". Time. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  13. ^ Kwong, Robin (14 January 2012). "Ma Ying-jeou wins Taiwan election". Financial Times. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  14. ^ "Profile: Ma Ying-jeou". BBC. 14 January 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  15. ^ Culpan, Tim (7 December 2016). "Dear Mr. Trump, About Those U.S. IPhones". Bloomberg. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  16. ^ Shinde, Jayesh (8 December 2016). "Trump Gets Trolled By The Man Who 'Really Makes' The iPhones & It’s So Honest, It's Hilarious". India Times. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  17. ^ "Pundits tap Terry Gou for 2020 presidential candidate". China Post. 16 November 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  18. ^ "Hon Hai chairman hints at presidential aspiration". Taipei Times. 17 November 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  19. ^ Chou, Christine (19 January 2017). "Business group head voices his support for Terry Gou bid". China Post. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  20. ^ "KMT’s Chan outlines presidential bid". Taipei Times. 27 January 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  21. ^ a b c Otsuki, Tomohiro (9 April 2016). "The real face of Terry Gou". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  22. ^ 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
  23. ^ "Hon Hai boss' wife dies". Taipei Times. 14 March 2005. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  24. ^ "Kuo Tai-cheng passes on". Taipei Times. 5 July 2007. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  25. ^ Dean, Jason (11 August 2007). "The Forbidden City of Terry Gou". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 27 January 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  26. ^ Hsiang, Cheng-chen; Hsu, Sheng-mei; Lin, Cheng-chih (22 April 2007). "Hon Hai chairman dismisses rumors of affair". Taipei Times. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  27. ^ "Tycoon Gou gets a better half, marries girlfriend". China Post. 27 July 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  28. ^ Chung, Jalen; Wu, Jeffrey (11 November 2014). "Taiwan tycoon Terry Gou thrilled by birth of fifth child". Central News Agency. Archived from the original on 11 November 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 

External links[edit]