Foxconn founder and chairman Terry Gou has announced his resignation as leader of the company ahead of a presidential bid in Taiwan.
Gou founded Foxconn, then known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, in 1974, with a focus on electrical components manufacturing. The company is now one of China’s largest private employers and operates factories across 16 countries. The company is currently one of Apple’s largest suppliers. Huawei and Google are also top customers of the firm.
Young Liu, who is currently serving as the head of Foxconn’s semiconductor business, will take Gou’s place as chairman. The company is also planning to create a nine-person committee to operate as the new management alongside Young.
The structure shift comes as Huawei has asked Foxconn to slow down smartphone production. Huawei expects smartphone shipments to fall as much as 60% in 2019, according to Bloomberg, after the U.S. Commerce Department barred the company from accessing U.S. technology in May.
Apple, meanwhile, recently asked Foxconn and other suppliers to explore the costs of shifting 15%-30% of its production capacity from China. At a farewell event in New Taipei, Gou called on Apple to bring more manufacturing to Taiwan.
“I am calling on Apple to come to Taiwan [to invest],” he told a crowd at his farewell event, according to a report from Nikkei.
Foxconn reported a net profit drop for the second consecutive year in 2018, due to slowed iPhone orders from Apple.