Terry Gou steps down, hands over reins at Taiwan's Foxconn

Gou promised in May he would retire from the company to focus on presidential run

Terry Gou formally stepped down from Foxconn's leadership role on Friday

Terry Gou formally stepped down from Foxconn's leadership role on Friday (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Foxconn Chairman and Kuomintang (KMT) presidential contender Terry Gou (郭台銘) announced on Friday morning (June 21) at the company’s annual general meeting that he would hand over the reins of the company and step down as CEO.

The company announced Liu Young-way as Gou's successor. The head of Foxconn’s chip-manufacturing group is expected to step into the role of Chief Executive Officer next week.

Reuters reports that Gou signaled he was finally handing off his leadership role in the company to a new operations committee as he prepares to dedicate himself fully to his campaign for the Taiwanese presidency.

The news comes only a week after the company, officially known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., announced it would adopt a new management structure in preparation for Gou’s departure.

The change in leadership organization is designed to increase input and participation from executives in the regular operations of the company.

Many of Foxconn’s investors are likely relieved to hear the news, as Foxconn has suffered a steep decline in market value since Terry Gou announced his candidacy for the KMT presidential primary in early April.

According to a May report, since Gou declared his candidacy for president, Foxconn’s shares have dropped by NT$112.29 billion (US$3.6 billion), roughly equivalent to the value of two Taipei 101s.

Foxconn is the largest electronics component manufacturer in the world, and Gou is currently the richest man in Taiwan, worth an estimated US$7.6 billion, according to Reuters.

Recently, the company has verified reports about an average 7 percent pay raise to be applied across the company to workers who have been employed for at least one year. Some speculate that the measure may be an attempt by the outgoing CEO to woo voters ahead of the upcoming KMT primary and the general election planned for January 2020.