Learning About the Man Who Heads iPhone Manufacturer Foxconn

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 Photo credit: Tony Law/Businessweek

Businessweek had the opportunity to speak with Foxconn founder Terry Gou, the man behind the company that manufacturers your iPhones, PlayStations Wiis and just about any other gadget or electronic device you can think of.

In an attempt to raise employee morale, the company has held a parade with costumes and a two-hour rally meant to give factory workers a more positive outlook.

However, as Gou points out in his interview with Businessweek, "I should be honest with you. The first one, the second one, the third one, I did not see this as a serious problem."

In his defense, the company had around 800,000 employees, with the Longhua campus spanning just over 2 square kilometers. That still may not have made for a particularly high suicide rate compared to the national average.

"At the moment I'm feeling guilty," he says, but didn't immediately think it was time to take full responsibility, but after the fifth suicide, which happened in March, he says that he "decided to do something different."

According to Businessweek, by the ninth suicide in May, Foxconn began placing more than 3 million square meters of netting around the buildings to catch those who tried to leap out of the building. They also set up a 24-hour area where trained counselors can help employees. 

We also know that the company has increased staff and wages. All of this is a move by Foxconn boss Terry Gou to not only help save lives, but perhaps preserve the integrity of his company.

Businessweek as a full story that takes a deeper look at the man, and how he operates things.

The full 8-page article is here, it's a long one, but it's an interesting look into a company many of us don't fully understand.

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