Foxconn, Apple’s oldest and largest supplier, has announced its new boss. Young Liu will step into the role of chairman after billionaire founder Terry Gou announced that he was stepping down.
Gou, who is 68 years old, is planning to run as a candidate in the 2020 presidential election in the Taiwanese elections.
Young Liu will take over the job of chairman on July 1. The news was announced during the company’s annual general meeting in Taipei. “I have very complicated feelings,” Liu told reporters. “I will work to maximize the shareholders’ interest.”
Foxconn, which is formerly known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, is the world’s largest contract manufacturer. It employs around 1.2 million people in mainland China, where it is the country’s largest private employer and exporter.
While Gou is stepping back from running Foxconn, however, he will remain involved in a lesser capacity. He is the company’s largest shareholder and will stay on as a board member.
A challenging time
The handover at Foxconn comes at an interesting, but challenging, time for the company. The burgeoning trade war between China and the U.S. is taking its toll on many manufacturers.
Apple recently reportedly asked its suppliers to investigate moving production out of China. Foxconn is taking a lead in this area. It has already started manufacturing iPhones in India. It recently told Apple that it had the capacity to build all U.S. iPhones outside China.
But there is controversy, too. Foxconn’s plans for a Wisconsin manufacturing campus in the U.S. led it to receive a massive tax deal. But the company has since looked to scale back on its promises.