There is some moving and shaking going on at HTC, which is seemingly the result of Google acquiring key members from the company's smartphone team. In the aftermath of that deal, HTC today announced that Chialin Chang is stepping down as President of the company's Smartphone and Connected Devices Business, effective immediately, with no one named as his replacement.
It's an interesting albeit unsurprising development. As part of a $1.1 billion deal with Google, HTC sent some of its top smartphone engineers to Mountain View, including ones who worked on Google's Pixel devices. The deal also granted Google a non-exclusive license to use HTC's intellectual property.
Leading up to the deal, there were reports that Google was interested in buying HTC's entire smartphone division. That did not happen, and instead a pared down version of that deal is what ultimately emerged, perhaps because Google was wary of overspending again like it did when it acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion before later selling it off to Lenovo for just $2.91 billion.
What that means is HTC has not exited the smartphone business, at least not completely. However, it remains to be seen how active HTC will be in that sector, now that its talented mobile team is over at Google. With no clear direction for the future and perhaps a division that is now parked on the sideline, Chang may have decided that it did not make sense to remain in his position as President.
That part is not entirely clear. Publicly, however, Chang's reason for resigning is listed as "personal career plan" on HTC's investor website. That seems to indicate it was Chang's decision to move on, as opposed to HTC forcing him out, though it hardly matters in the grand scheme of things. The bottom line is, Chang is out and HTC, at least for now, is not replacing him.