HTC smartphone business president leaves sinking ship ahead of U12 launch
Even though HTC has been trying hard to maintain a positive outlook on its clearly dying smartphone business after trading talent for cash with Google, the Taiwanese company’s executive exodus continues as revenues are down again.
Today’s resignation is perhaps the most ominous of numerous high-profile departures these past few years, as HTC’s President of the Smartphone and Connected Devices Business is abandoning the sinking ship to focus on a new “personal career plan.”
According to local press, Chialin Chang intends to set up his own AI company, which sounds like it has nothing to do with HTC’s increasing irrelevance in the mobile tech world. But the timing of this career move feels a little convenient to be coincidental.
After all, Chang stood by HTC through thick and thin since April 2012, having left his cozy position as a senior banker and partner at Goldman Sachs. He previously worked in “technology development” at Motorola Solutions, and initially served as HTC’s Chief Financial Officer.
He was also President of Global Sales between late 2013 and mid-2016, when he ended his CFO stint as well. Chialin Chang vowed to bring to market five or six HTC-branded smartphones this year following media speculation of a mobile device retirement, with the mid-range U11 EYEs already unveiled last month.
A U12 flagship should be next in line, although a Mobile World Congress debut is reportedly out of the question. Chang’s replacement hasn’t been decided yet, which is another sign HTC may soon choose to throw in the towel altogether. Then again, crazier comebacks have happened.