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Foxconn appoints new head of iPhone assembly division.

Published: 2023-01-17

After a busy 2022 for Foxconn Technology Group, there has been a change of leadership in its division responsible for assembling the iPhone.

At Foxconn's annual event last Sunday, it was announced that Michael Chiang had become the division's new chief executive, replacing Wang Charng-yang, who in turn would remain on the company's board of directors.

Wang, who joined the company's board of directors in the summer of 2022, remains a director and his departure from the position of head of the iPhone assembly division is not related to disruptions in production due to restrictions caused by the measures of the Chinese authorities to combat the pandemic, sources said.

Chiang's appointment is reportedly part of Foxconn Chairman Young Liu's plan to revamp the company's leadership with young talent to maintain leadership amid growing competition from Chinese enterprises, including Luxshare Precision Industry Co. Foxconn could also face new competitors in India as Apple seeks to further diversify smartphone production following supply disruptions linked to China lockdowns due to the pandemic.

Chian holds a master's degree in human resource development from Claremont University of California. He joined Foxconn in 1999. When riots broke out at Foxconn's largest iPhone assembly facility in Zhengzhou late last year due to the pandemic's strict quarantine restrictions, Chian played a key role in negotiating with the local government and enforcing Apple's demands.

In 2021, he said in an interview with one publication that the approach to assembling the iPhone is significantly different from the production of Android smartphones. “We need only 100 workers on the production line to produce Chinese Android phones, and we need 1,200 people to assemble the iPhone,” Chiang said, emphasizing Apple's stringent requirements.