Christopher “Tank” Murdoch, the first Wisconsin resident hired by Foxconn Technology Group and an honored figure at last year’s groundbreaking for the firm’s planned flat-screen factory, has left the company.
In a brief interview, Murdoch said he left voluntarily several weeks ago because of “a number of factors,” which he declined to specify. He said he had taken a position outside Wisconsin but would not disclose his employer.
Foxconn said its policy is not to comment “on its internal human resources decision making.”
Meanwhile, what was supposed to be the Silicon Valley of the Midwest is now a cautionary tale for the rest of America. Griff Witte reports As the economy teeters, Trump’s ‘eighth wonder of the world’ wobbles with it:
“The eighth wonder of the world,” President Trump proclaimed when he kicked off construction with a golden shovel full of dirt.
Or perhaps not. As solid as the walls to the new factory might seem, the company behind them — Taiwan-based electronics giant Foxconn — has repeatedly backtracked on ambitious visions that attracted billions of dollars in state incentives. Foxconn assures that it will meet the original employment target for the project, but Gov. Tony Evers (D) has said he doesn’t think vows to hire thousands of new workers will ever be fulfilled. And experts maintain the entire strategy makes little sense.
Yet [Tom] Johnston, who owns an upscale gift shop on a struggling Main Street in the city of Racine, has little faith that Foxconn will bring salvation: “I hope to God it happens, but I think it’s all a crock.”
“Every couple of months there’s been a different plan,” said Steven Deller, an economist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. “First it was 13,000 jobs. Now it might be 1,000 jobs. They’ve really scaled back on what they plan to do.”
Even the start of construction has raised doubts rather than allay them, he said. The structure now emerging bears little resemblance to the model of 21st-century, high-tech manufacturing that was promised.
“This was supposed to be the future,” he said, “but it just looks like a big warehouse.”
Previously: 10 Key Articles About Foxconn, Foxconn as Alchemy: Magic Multipliers, Foxconn Destroys Single-Family Homes, Foxconn Devours Tens of Millions from State’s Road Repair Budget, The Man Behind the Foxconn Project, A Sham News Story on Foxconn, Another Pig at the Trough, Even Foxconn’s Projections Show a Vulnerable (Replaceable) Workforce, Foxconn in Wisconsin: Not So High Tech After All, Foxconn’s Ambition is Automation, While Appeasing the Politically Ambitious, Foxconn’s Shabby Workplace Conditions, Foxconn’s Bait & Switch, Foxconn’s (Overwhelmingly) Low-Paying Jobs, The Next Guest Speaker, Trump, Ryan, and Walker Want to Seize Wisconsin Homes to Build Foxconn Plant, Foxconn Deal Melts Away, “Later This Year,” Foxconn’s Secret Deal with UW-Madison, Foxconn’s Predatory Reliance on Eminent Domain, Foxconn: Failure & Fraud, Foxconn Roundup: Desperately Ill Edition, Foxconn Roundup: Indiana Layoffs & Automation Everywhere, Foxconn Roundup: Outside Work and Local Land, Foxconn Couldn’t Even Meet Its Low First-Year Goal, Foxconn Talks of Folding Wisconsin Manufacturing Plans, WISGOP Assembly Speaker Vos Hopes You’re Stupid, Lost Homes and Land, All Over a Foxconn Fantasy, Laughable Spin as Industrial Policy, Foxconn: The ‘State Visit Project,’ ‘Inside Wisconsin’s Disastrous $4.5 Billion Deal With Foxconn,’ Foxconn: When the Going Gets Tough…, The Amazon-New York Deal, Like the Foxconn Deal, Was Bad Policy, Foxconn Roundup, Foxconn: The Roads to Nowhere, Foxconn: Evidence of Bad Policy Judgment, Foxconn: Behind Those Headlines, Foxconn: On Shaky Ground, Literally, Foxconn: Heckuva Supply Chain They Have There…, Foxconn: Still Empty, and the Chairman of the Board Needs a Nap, Foxconn: Cleanup on Aisle 4, Foxconn: The Closer One Gets, The Worse It Is, Foxconn Confirm Gov. Evers’s Claim of a Renegotiation Discussion, America’s Best Know Better, Despite Denials, Foxconn’s Empty Buildings Are Still Empty, Right on Schedule – A Foxconn Delay, Foxconn: Reality as a (Predictable) Disappointment, Town Residents Claim Trump’s Foxconn Factory Deal Failed Them, Foxconn: Independent Study Confirms Project is Beyond Repair, It Shouldn’t, and Foxconn: Wrecking Ordinary Lives for Nothing, Hey, Wisconsin, How About an Airport-Coffee Robot?, and Be Patient, UW-Madison: Only $99,300,000.00 to Go!