Foxconn’s iPhone business chief replaced after COVID outbreak and protests

Foxconn had a rough end of 2022. With a COVID-19 outbreak followed by protests, Apple had to give a rare statement about supply chain issues regarding the iPhone 14 Pro models. Sales success, the Cupertino firm almost couldn’t sell the new high-end models due to these problems.

Now, while it seems the iPhone 14 stock is back to normal, Bloomberg reports that Foxconn replaced its iPhone business chief. Wang Charng-yang will step back to focus on a role on the board, while Michael Chiang will be in charge of this role.

The publication explains why this change happened:

The appointment is part of efforts by Chairman Young Liu of Foxconn’s flagship unit Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. to elevate younger executives to maintain the company’s supply chain leadership in the face of growing competition from Chinese contenders. Foxconn may also face new rivals in India as Apple seeks to further diversify its production footprint following pandemic-related supply snarls and draconian restrictions that wrought havoc on device output in China.

Bloomberg reports that Chargn-yan had a successful career as Foxconn’s iPhone business chief, as he “helped the company meet the high standards Apple requires.” People familiar with the matter said he “played a pivotal role in communicating with the local government and making sure Apple’s demands would be satisfied” during the last COVID-19 outbreak.

On the other hand, Chiang is part of this new generation of young leaders. In 2021, in an interview, he said he had gone to India three times to help Foxconn build its manufacturing presence in the country.

“The biggest challenge we face in India is cultural shock including its caste system. It’s brand new to us,” Chiang said.

In addition, he has an interesting tidbit about how different Android and iPhone production is: “For Chinese Android phones, we only have to assign 100 workers per production line, but we need 1,200 for the iPhone,” Chiang said.

Now, only time will tell how Chiang’s leadership will model Foxconn’s new period as Apple tries to diversify its supply chain from outside China. The iPhone 15 models are coming in less than eight months.

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