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Due to Major Disruptions at the iPhone Zhengzhou Factory in China, Foxconn Replaced their iPhone Assembly Chief

1 cover Foxconn plant riots in Q4 2022

It was expected that heads would roll after major disruptions at Foxconn's Zhengzhou Factory in Q4 resulted in chaos and production loss for the iPhone 14 at a crucial time. It's now being reported that Foxconn has replaced the iPhone assembly chief, Wang Charng-yang with Michael Chiang.

According to Bloomberg, Michael Chiang was first identified in his new role at Taiwan-based Foxconn’s annual year-end party on Sunday, succeeding long-time leader Wang Charng-yang as head of the division responsible for iPhone assembly. Chiang was recently promoted to chief of the A business group as Wang steps back to focus on a role on the board.

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.

Chiang is a long-time Foxconn manager who has helped the company meet the high standards Apple requires. Chiang has a master’s degree in human resources development from California’s Claremont Graduate University and he joined Foxconn in 1999.

When Foxconn encountered unprecedented worker unrest at its main iPhone campus in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou late last year, Chiang played a pivotal role in communicating with the local government and making sure Apple’s demands would be satisfied, one of the people said.

The appointment highlights Foxconn’s efforts in recent years to foster a younger cohort of executives to help the company navigate prolonged tensions between Washington and Beijing, diversify its manufacturing bases outside of China, and fend off Chinese challengers including Luxshare Precision Industry Co.

Lastly, Bloomberg was careful to note that "Wang, who was appointed to Hon Hai’s board in the summer of 2022, remains a director and his departure from the iPhone operations role isn’t connected to the Covid-related output disruptions Foxconn suffered last year." For more on this, read the full Bloomberg report.

For the record, news reports out of Taiwan point to Wang being fired from his position as iPhone assembly chief, not politely replaced over the COVID disruptions. Whether the Taiwanese press was sensationalizing the story or being frank is unknown at this time. Our byline reflects both takes on the matter.

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