Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC has named its founder and chairwoman Cher Wang as the new CEO, relieving Peter Chou from his command.
The scion of a highly prominent Taiwanese family, Wang has a tough job ahead of her. HTC, which once had a 10% share of the global smartphone market and was out-shipping the iPhone in the United States, has since seen a steady decline in both revenue and profit.
Chou, who is understood to have a strong focus on research and development, will now head up HTC Future Development Lab, identifying future growth opportunities for the firm.
The now former-CEO was responsible for shifting HTC away from its contract manufacturing roots, toward becoming its own brand. The largely mid-range smartphone maker was the first manufacturer to use Google’s Android operating system on one of its devices.
The company was at the top of its game in 2011, but since then, stock has fallen by 85%. Chou is reported to have a somewhat abrasive nature; a rumour which is underscored by the departure of seven senior executives.
Wang, who founded the company in 1997, said that her focus was to diversify HTC’s offerings to accommodate the changing landscape.
“We are seeing rapid changes in the industry, with the smartphone as our personal hub connecting us to a growing world of smart devices,” she said in a statement. “We pioneered the smartphone industry; now we are applying that thinking to realise the potential of a new generation of connected products and services.”
“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.”