It’s the end of an era, ladies and gentlemen. Peter Chou, co-founder and long-time CEO of HTC, has given up his position, with Cher Wang set to take over.
Along with Cher Wang and H.T.Cho, Chou founded HTC in 1997 as a contract manufacturer making computers and other electronics for various brands. In 2004, Chou took over as CEO, and under his leadership, HTC developed into a world leader of the smartphone industry. Following years of steady growth, HTC’s fortunes began to wane in 2012 and the company has been struggling to recover ever since.
Peter Chou will be ceding his position to HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang, but he will stay with the company as “head of the HTC Future Development Lab.”
Peter Chou will stay with the company as “head of the HTC Future Development Lab.”
“As an entrepreneur at heart, I am excited to see so many new opportunities, and I am honoured to accept this opportunity to help shape the next stage of HTC’s development,” said Cher Wang, who highlighted HTC’s connected living products in her statement.
“We pioneered the smartphone industry; now we are applying that thinking to realize the potential of a new generation of connected products and services. The overwhelming response that our virtual reality product, HTC Vive, received earlier this month underlines the importance of these new connected technologies for our future”
Wang has actually taken over many of Chou’s day-to-day responsibilities since 2013. Wang has been handling sales, marketing and supplier relationships, while Chou was in charge of product development and “innovation.” According to HTC, today’s announcement is a mere formalization of a state of facts: “the Board of Directors and executive team agreed that it was now appropriate to formalize that progression.”
Peter Chou has been a polarizing figure. While he was beloved for his charisma and dedication to HTC, his abrasive style and “shoot from the hip” approach to product development were blamed for the company’s difficulties over the past few years. In a Reuters piece from 2013 that cited “insiders,” Chou was also criticized for his inability to open up and delegate, which allegedly caused many of HTC’s international executives to leave.
Chou’s departure comes at a sensitive for HTC, as it’s gearing up to release its newest flagship on April 10. While the company’s financial results have improved over the past quarters, a lot weighs on the success of the M9.
We’ll be adding more details at we learn them.