HTC had a rocky few years as its smartphone business started to tank and it searched for a new source of profit. Now the company’s taken another hit with the loss of former CEO and co-founder Peter Chou.
HTC confirmed the news in a statement to Android Central, noting that Chou still has a link to the company even if it’s no longer his priority:
HTC can confirm that Peter Chou retired from the Company after assuming the chairmanship of Digital Domain in September 2015, although he was retained as an Advisor to enable HTC to leverage his extensive experience. We thank Peter for his long-term commitment to the business and wish him well in his retirement.
Chou was there to launch HTC in 1997 and became CEO in 2004. He helped establish the company as a leading phone maker in the early days of Android, arguably peaking with the original HTC One in 2013. Early last year, he stepped down to a product-focused role as head of HTC’s Future Development Lab, with co-founder Cher Wang taking over as CEO.
Then, last August, Chou took a job at Digital Domain, the visual effects company behind blockbuster movies like Tron:Legacy and Iron Man 3 along with several AAA video games. At the time, he said he would still retain his role at HTC, but clearly that’s not what happened.
HTC seems to be doing pretty well without Chou’s direct supervision. The Vive virtual reality headset appears to be an early hit and the HTC 10 is one of the company’s best smartphones in years, but whether that translates to a return to profits remains to be seen.