Terry Guo

This man makes 137,000 iPhones a day

September 10, 2010: 11:16 AM ET

Foxconn's production rate is one of many revelations in a new profile of its chairman

Terry Gou. Photo: Tony Law for Bloomberg Businessweek

"I should be honest with you," Foxconn founder and chairman Terry Gou told Bloomberg Businessweek on the subject of the suicides at his company's massive factory complex in Shenzhen, China. "The first one, second one, and third one, I did not see this as a serious problem. We had around 800,000 employees, and here [in Longhua] we are about 2.1 square kilometers. At the moment, I'm feeling guilty. But at that moment, I didn't think I should be taking full responsibility." After the fifth suicide, in March, Gou says, "I decided to do something different."

After the ninth, Foxconn hired one of the world's largest PR firms, Burson-Marsteller, to devise a media strategy, which included giving Bloomberg Businessweek's Frederik Balfour and Tim Culpan unprecedented access to the factory and a rare three-hour interview with the chairman.

Among the nuggets they brought home:

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