HTC’s President for the Smartphone and Connected Devices Business Chialin Chang has resigned from his position. The resignation, which is effective immediately from February 14, has brought the company to the brink of extinction. Chang joined the Taiwanese smartphone company in 2012 and served the board as its Chief Financial Officer and Head of Global Sales before leading the Smartphone and Connected Devices Business division. The move comes months after Google decided to buy the smartphone design and engineering team from HTC for $1.1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,000 crores), and it could be the outcome of the plan that was reportedly aimed to streamline the company’s smartphone lineup this year.
On a page dedicated to its investors on Wednesday, HTC made the latest announcement. The company hasn’t revealed any replacement for Chang yet. Further, the reason for the resignation is mentioned as a “personal career plan”. It is, however, reported by some local news sources that the departure is part of Chang's plan to establish an AI startup later this year.
While companies such as Apple and Samsung are growing in the smartphone market, HTC is facing some major challenges to retain its market position. In the last quarterly financial results, HTC’s consolidated income dropped six-month low to TWD 3.403 billion (approximately Rs. 745 crores), a decrease year-over-year of 27.03 percent. The company also of late left the affordable market segment and brought some premium offerings perhaps to get enough margin to survive.
Having said that, some ongoing rumours claim that HTC does have plans to bring a new flagship smartphone this year to take on Apple’s iPhone X and the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S9 series. The new smartphone, which is in the headlines as the HTC U12, is likely to support 5G connectivity and could come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC. The company earlier this month demonstrated its innovation towards 5G connectivity at an event in Taiwan.
It is worth noting here that the resignation of Chang isn’t the only high-level departure at HTC that has taken place this year. Last month, COO David Chen also left the company to join Google.