HTC is consolidating its Android smartphone and virtual reality businesses following the unexpected departure of Chialin Chang, the company's President of mobile and connected devices, according to recent reports from the Far East. Mr. Chang's resignation was announced earlier this week and no direct replacement has been named, with industry sources claiming the Taiwanese tech giant has instead opted to restructure its management in order to have the same executives oversee both its VR and mobile divisions.
The shift is understood to revolve around five names in total: HTC Vive Americas GM Daniel O'Brien, HTC Vive China GM Alvin Wang Graylin, HTC Vive Europe GM Paul Brown, HTC VR New Technology VP Raymond Pao, and HTC Smartphone Taiwan GM Chen (陈柏谕). Those executives have now been promoted to the positions of General Managers of all of HTC's operations in their respective territories and will be in charge of leading both of the firm's core businesses going forward, sources claim. The change is understood to have been aimed at limiting the impact of Mr. Chang's resignation and signals that the Taipei-based original equipment manufacturer won't be looking to replace its mobile President in the immediate future. Should HTC eventually hire or elevate someone to the position of its smartphone chief, such a role would likely be significantly more limited compared to the one the industry veteran had. The firm's official statement on the matter said Mr. Chang is leaving to pursue his "personal career plans" and while HTC didn't provide a clarification on the matter, recent reports suggest the executive is looking to establish his own artificial intelligence company.
HTC's smartphone business has been struggling to remain relevant in recent years and is still bleeding money, having recently prompted the tech giant's management to limit the number of new devices meant to be released over the course of this year, according to previous reports. The declining focus on smartphones also led HTC to sell some of its talent and license its patents to Google as part of a $1.1 billion deal completed in late January. The company's next mobile devices are expected to be announced at MWC 2018 starting later this month.