HTC just can’t catch a break, as one of its most vocal and long serving executives has now announced his departure. Yes, Jason Mackenzie, who worked at the company for 12 years, most recently as its global executive vice-president, officially made the decision public earlier today via his Twitter account.
Mackenzie first joined HTC in 2005 and climbed up its executive ladder, eventually becoming President of HTC America. He held that office for over two years before the company promoted him just over a year ago to become its global executive vice-president. Mackenzie didn’t state why he was leaving the company at this time, nor did he give any indication on what his next gig will be going forward. The company also didn’t reveal who would take over from Mackenzie in that global executive VP role.
His departure comes after the company went through a difficult 2016. Its HTC 10 was a financial disappointment, and its flood of new mid-range and budget smartphones in the rest of the year didn’t help its bottom line. The launch of the HTC Vive VR headset in the same year is still something of a experiment, as virtual reality has yet to reach major consumer acceptance. Ironically, the senior designer on the Vive, Claude Zellweger, announced a few days ago he was joining Google to work on its Daydream smartphone VR platform.
Of course, 2017 is just beginning and the company isn’t slowing down just yet, even without one of its most well-known execs. HTC revealed two new smartphones just a few weeks ago. One is the mid-range HTC U Play, which will be released sometime in early 2017, while the other is the the higher end HTC U Ultra, with shipments scheduled to begin in March. HTC also seems to understand that its over-release of phones in 2016 wasn’t a bright move and has already confirmed it plans to release about half as many new smartphones in 2017 as compared to the prior year.
HTC certainly has a lot to prove if it wants to finally turn its fortunes around in 2017. What do you think of Mackenzie’s departure, and HTC’s position in general? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments.