Breaking, Business, VR World

Updated: HTC CEO Peter Chou Steps Down

HTC (TPE: 2498) Chairwoman Cher Wang replaced Peter Chou as chief executive officer Friday in Taipei after a near half-decade of decline in the face of rising smartphone powers like Xiaomi.

Chou also held the position of president, which he will also be departing.

The company announced the departure Friday afternoon.

Reportedly Chou will not be leaving the company, but will rather be joining the HTC Innovation Lab incubator as its chief officer.

Wang co-founded HTC with Chou in 1997. Prior to founding HTC, Wang founded VIA technologies in 1987. She is the daughter of Formosa Plastics’ founder Wang Yung-ching, who was one of Taiwan’s wealthiest individuals until his death in 2008. The death of Wang’s brother, Wang Yung-tsai, in late November marked a new chapter in Formosa Plastics — a pillar of Taiwan’s economy.

“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 in a statement. “In his time as CEO, Peter Chou oversaw the successful transition of HTC from a handheld device manufacture for other brands to a global branded company. In his new executive role as head of the HTC Future Development Lab, Mr Chou will be instrumental in identifying future growth opportunities for the Company.”

HTC’s Innovation Lab has had a low profile so far, however its creations have not. At last month’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, HTC proved that it was looking beyond smartphones with the launch of the Vive VR headset and the Re Camera.

In February HTC posted positive revenue growth, a first for the company in quite some time. But while HTC new One M9 smartphone and other innovative products like the Vive VR headset have impressed critics, the company needs to continue solid growth to win back confidence from investors.

“We are seeing rapid changes in the industry, with the smartphone as our personal hub connecting us to a growing world of smart devices,” reads Wang’s 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.”