Foxconn Responds To CEO’s “Employees Are Animals” Comment

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Foxconn responded to yesterday’s kerfuffle about the CEO of Foxconn, Terry Gou, commenting that he cared for “a million animals” – namely his employees. They said it was an off-the-cuff remark, similar to saying that managing is like “herding cats” as opposed to suggesting that Foxconn employees walk on all fours and root in the mud. Big difference, clearly.

The statement is below. I love the line “Mr. Gou’s comments were directed at all humans and not at any specific group.”

Statement From Foxconn Technology Group

There have been some media reports regarding a conversation that Foxconn Technology Group Chief Executive Officer, Terry Gou, had with the Director of the Taipei Zoo, Chin Shih-chien, at an employee event organized by Foxconn on January 15 in Taipei to benefit a range of charitable organizations through a contribution of USD1.4 million. In an effort to encourage his management team to learn from all aspects of life, Mr. Gou did say that, since all humans are members of the animal kingdom, it might be possible to learn from Mr. Chin’s experience as his team looks for lessons that can be applied to business. Mr. Gou’s comments were directed at all humans and not at any specific group.

While some reports on Mr. Gou’s comments in Mandarin were taken out of context and do not accurately reflect the full scope of that conversation, Mr. Gou does understand how these reports could be misinterpreted and seen as insensitive and he sincerely apologizes to anyone who might be offended by them. At no time did Mr. Gou seek to portray Foxconn employees in the negative context some media reports have suggested.