Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC Corporation has just lost its second chief designer in less than a year. 11 months ago, chief of design Scott Croyle stepped down and Jonah Becker (previously head of product design) took his place. Both Jonah Becker and Scott Croyle became affiliated with HTC when their design studio One & Co was purchased by the corporation in 2009. In March 2015, the company announced that Jonah Becker will be resigning as chief of design as well. The company’s creative director, Daniel Hundt, will be taking over for Becker.
Becker departs just as the company’s new HTC One M9 model was introduced into the market. The company has gone through a number of executive shuffling over the past few years. Many marketing, design, and production chiefs, including Chief Product Officer Kouji Kodera, left the company beginning in 2013. In March 2015, founder Cher Wang was designated CEO, replacing Peter Chou. The company is struggling with competition from other high-end smart phone makers such as Apple and Samsung, and may refocus their strategy towards the mid-tier market. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company’s market share of the global smartphone sector has dropped significantly to below 2% since 2012, competing with both high-end and budget players (such as Chinese electronics developer Xiaomi Inc.). In 2010, the company’s stock closed at $1,300 New Taiwan Dollars while the company is currently valued at merely $138 NTD.
Founded in 1997 by Cher Wang and H.T. Cho, HTC previously operated under the moniker High-Tech Computer Corporation. Originally an original equipment manufacturer for notebook computers, the company now specializes in smartphones and tablets which use the Android mobile device platform. The company’s HTC Evo 4G was the first 4G-capable smartphone available in the United States in 2010. Recently, HTC has branched out into alternative products such as wearables and accessories, including the HTC RE camera, the HTC Grip fitness band, and HTC Vive virtual-reality headset.
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