May 10, 2019 / 11:09 AM / 3 months ago

Foxconn's Gou to keep board seat as he bids for Taiwan's presidency

FILE PHOTO: Foxconn Technology Group founder and chairman, Terry Gou, speaks during a news conference after his trip to the U.S., in Taipei, Taiwan May 6, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Terry Gou, chairman of Apple supplier Foxconn, will retain a seat on the company’s proposed board, a company filing showed on Friday, as he plans to run in Taiwan’s 2020 presidential election.

Earlier on Friday, a source told Reuters that Gou will retain a seat on the company’s new board, weeks after his decision to contest the presidential election in January, seeking to represent the China-friendly opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party. The vote follows a period of increasing tension between Beijing and Taipei.

Gou’s election bid came after he told Reuters in April that he planned to step down from Foxconn to pave the way for younger talent to move up the company’s ranks.

Gou, Taiwan’s richest person, told reporters late on Friday that he will resign from his role as chairman of the board to demonstrate his determination to run for the presidency, according to the official Central News Agency.

It is not immediately clear when Gou will resign.

The proposed candidates for the new company board, which include Lu Sung-Ching, the chairman of Foxconn Interconnect Technology Ltd, and Sharp Corp’s chairman Tai Jeng-wu, are subject to approval from a shareholder meeting in June, before a new chairman is elected.

Analysts said Gou’s election bid might be weighed down by his ties to a Chinese leadership that refuses to renounce the use of force to unify with self-ruled Taiwan it considers a wayward province.

Earlier in the day, the company reported that its April sales were up 10.4% from a year earlier, the strongest increase since October last year.

Shares of Foxconn fell 0.7% on Friday, lagging the benchmark share price index’s 0.2% decline. They are up about 18% this year after falling 30 percent last year.

Reporting by Yimou Lee in Taipei; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Louise Heavens

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