Foxconn Technology Group’s billionaire founder Terry Gou resigned from his position on the company’s board as he ramps up his campaign to become president of Taiwan.
(Bloomberg) — Foxconn Technology Group’s billionaire founder Terry Gou resigned from his position on the company’s board as he ramps up his campaign to become president of Taiwan.
Gou stepped down as a director of the company he founded in 1974 due to “personal reasons,” according to a statement from Foxconn Saturday. Foxconn thanked Gou, who remains its largest shareholder, for his contribution to the group and the global electronics industry.
Having built Foxconn into one of the largest manufacturing companies in the world and a key supplier to Apple Inc., Gou had already handed day-to-day running of the business over to chairman and Chief Executive Officer Young Liu in 2019, when he first publicly flirted with the idea of entering politics.
Gou’s resignation comes less than a week after he ended months of speculation by formally announcing his intention to run in Taiwan’s presidential election, scheduled for January.
Opinion polls indicate Gou will face an uphill battle to win the presidency. In an already-crowded race, he currently trails the other three candidates, with Vice President and ruling Democratic Progressive Party candidate Lai Ching-te in the lead, according to most surveys.
Given Foxconn’s huge manufacturing presence in China, with hundreds of thousands of employees, Gou’s ability to withstand pressure from an increasingly assertive Beijing has already become an issue in the campaign. China views Taiwan as a part of its territory, a claim the government in Taipei rejects.
Gou dismissed claims he would be susceptible to Chinese pressure, were he to become president.
“I will not bow to China’s threats,” he said at the briefing announcing his presidential bid last Monday, adding that no foreign investors would dare invest in China if the government there confiscated Foxconn’s assets.
Improving the fractious relations between Taipei and Beijing has been the focus of Gou’s leadership bid so far, with the billionaire promising to deliver “50 years” of peace.
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