Guo Taiming is expected to leave office on Friday. Following his departure, Foxconn will elect a new chairman, while the CEO position will be replaced by a nine-member committee. Over the past 45 years, Mr. Gou has been the company's only decision maker and face. Thus, with this significant change in leadership, transparency will be long absent, but it will also allow this huge company, which spans more than a dozen countries, has more than a million employees and an all-star customer list, to be in the hands of a committee, not a single person.
Regardless of the leadership of Guo Taiming, the author has always been skeptical about the future of the company and the company.
The actions of the company's new management can now alleviate some of these problems. In the ensuing investor events and conference calls, these executives, many of whom rarely spoke publicly, answered concisely and satisfactorily the challenges of running Foxconn in the Trump era and the changes the company needed. This change is refreshing compared with the insignificant answers given by Gou to the media before.
Winter is approaching: With the slowdown of global electronics industry growth, Hon Hai Precision's profit growth has stagnated for several years. Winter is approaching: With the slowdown of global electronics industry growth, Hon Hai Precision's profit growth has stagnated for several years.
Nevertheless, this does not mean that everything is in order. Discussions on Foxconn's next chairman have been going on for more than a decade and are continuing. Huang Chiu-lian, the group's chief financial officer, is also on the list of potential chairmen. The heads of other departments are more or less on this list.
However, the author believes that Liu Liu, the head of Foxconn's chip division, will become the new chairman (because Huang Qiulian is not a new board member, she will not participate in the chairman's election). However, being a chairman does not mean that you can stabilize Foxconn's Iron Throne. Instead, the committee's management strategy will expose many possible struggles between the various department heads within the company, some of whom are also members of the internal circle.
Any administrative decision inevitably becomes a problem of resource allocation. Given Foxconn's reputation for being stingy in the industry, there is a good chance that departments will have to compete with each other or bargain secretly to get the resources they want.
If the co-governance shown by the new team in the first public meeting disappears, the administrative lineup is likely to develop into a war of attrition. Twelve years ago, when Gou Taiming just put forward the idea of retirement, he said he planned to reduce the list of candidates from 35 to less than 10. But unlike Zhang Zhongmou of TSMC, who spent considerable time training successors for his company, Guo never bothered to train any successors.
Many Foxconn followers have told me that they believe that after Gou's resignation, most executives are likely to retire in a relatively short period of time if they do not have clear control over the company. After some people leave, competition for vacant positions will follow.
I am concerned that a series of departures and infighting will weaken Foxconn just as it needs stability and a single leader. Once turbulence occurs, any ultimate winner will find that the Iron Throne has long disappeared, let alone struggled with the Dragon. (Muer)