- Pete Lau, the OnePlus CEO, will take on an extra role as a senior vice president at its primary investor’s company.
- Lau’s new duties will involve overseeing brand synergy and product planning at Oppo and OnePlus.
- Realme tells Android Authority that Lau’s new role under the investment umbrella of the mysterious “OPLUS” doesn’t include its devices, although OPLUS is also a Realme investor.
Update, September 2, 2020 03:45 EDT: Updated article to clarify aspects of Lau’s svp position and the brands it covers after Realme reached out to Android Authority to explain that its products do not fall under the scope of Lau’s new role.
Original article, August 31, 2020 11:00 EDT: OnePlus CEO and co-founder Pete Lau (born Liu Zuohu) started his career at Oppo. Rising through the ranks, he eventually co-created OnePlus as an offshoot of Oppo.
However, it appears he will be having a sort-of-homecoming, as he has officially taken on a new role as a senior vice president at investor OPLUS, overseeing both OnePlus and Oppo. His duties will primarily revolve around brand synergy and focus on product development for Oppo and OnePlus.
OnePlus CEO Pete Lau will still be CEO
Now, this doesn’t mean that Lau will no longer be in charge of OnePlus. In a statement OnePlus gave to Android Authority, the company makes that very clear:
Pete remains committed to his role as CEO of OnePlus. At the same time, he has also taken on the role of SVP and chief product experience officer for OPLUS, contributing to product and planning development.
OPLUS is a mysterious investor company that oversees OnePlus, Oppo, and Realme (Realme tells Android Authority that Lau’s new role will not impact its devices). Lau detailed OnePlus’ involvement with this investor for the first time just a few months ago, in an interview with Fast Company.
BBK Electronics technically oversees all three brands as well as Vivo and others. However, Lau claims that OPLUS has nothing to do with BBK. As ever, the background funding and corporate hierarchy of OnePlus and its sister brands are clouded in mystery.
So, is this good news or bad news?
As of right now, it’s difficult to say. Pete Lau has been OnePlus’ CEO since the company started, and that’s been his only official role. It’s possible that Lau having more on his plate could distract him from his OnePlus duties, which would hurt the brand, no doubt.
However, it’s also possible that Lau’s new role won’t require that much from him, at least not enough to detrimentally affect OnePlus. If that ends up being true, then brand synergy between Oppo, Realme, and OnePlus will be generally a good thing. It could bring some cohesion to the increasingly confusing Chinese smartphone market.
Time will tell how this pans out. In the meantime, things at OnePlus are unlikely to change too much for now.