Despite launching some of the best devices in the business in recent years, HTC has continued to struggle in the face of increasingly intense competition. Indeed, many observers agree that the company's products aren't the problem, and this is reflected in the high praise that has been lavished upon many of its devices, such as the One M8 for Windows and Nexus 9.
For over a decade, Peter Chou led the company as its chief executive officer, but his time in the top job is now over. HTC announced today that Chou has stepped down as CEO, and will be replaced by Cher Wang, its existing chairwoman and one of the co-founders of the company.
In 2013, Wang defended Chou's tenure as CEO amid rumors of boardroom infighting and whispers of a plan to oust him from his job. But as she took over his role today, Wang had her eyes firmly on the future rather than the past, saying:
We are seeing rapid changes in the industry, with the smartphone as our personal hub connecting us to a growing world of smart devices. We pioneered the smartphone industry; now we are applying that thinking to realize the potential of a new generation of connected products and services. The overwhelming response that our virtual reality product, HTC Vive, received earlier this month underlines the importance of these new connected technologies for our future.
Chou won't be leaving the company, though - instead, he will "transition to a strategic new role leading future product innovation". Today's announcement was somewhat light on details regarding his new job; the only other reference stated: "In his new executive role as head of HTC Future Development Lab, Mr Chou will be instrumental in identifying new growth opportunities for the company."
HTC's next major product launch will be its new One M9 flagship, which it announced earlier this month. But even if the handset turns out to be every bit as impressive as it seemed in our brief hands-on time with it, history has shown that that's no guarantee of success for the company. Without a doubt, Wang has a tough job ahead.
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