And just like that, the man largely responsible for HTC’s meteoric rise in the smartphone market is out of the CEO seat. The company announced today that HTC’s board of directors has named co-founder Cher Wang to the top spot to replace Chou, who will now head up the HTC Future Development Lab.
Cher Wang will retain her board chairperson position as she assumes the CEO role. An analyst speculated to Reuters that the appointment of a board member could suggest trouble attracting an executive from outside the company. The market has been brutal of late, taking a toll on HTC’s sales and seeing Samsung cede first place to Apple. However, HTC has successfully drummed up plenty of excitement for its One M9 under the guidance of Peter Chou. It will be interesting to see if the phone improves HTC’s situation.
“We are seeing rapid changes in the industry, with the smartphone as our personal hub connecting us to a growing world of smart devices,” Wang said in a 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.”
HTC has said little about Peter Chou’s new role as head of HTC Future Development Lab, other than that it is a “strategic new role leading future innovation,” and that he will be “instrumental in identifying future opportunities for the company.”