Yves Maitre has stepped down as CEO of HTC, the company announced earlier today. He resigns just days shy of completing a year as the Taiwanese company’s boss. Chairwoman and co-founder Cher Wang, who preceded Maitre, is coming back to the office, Engadget reports.
According to HTC, Maitre is stepping down because of personal reasons. Ever since he joined the Taiwanese company some eleven months ago, he has reportedly spent most of the time away from his family back in Europe. The strict international travel restrictions currently in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic “have had an impact” on him and he decided to step down, HTC said in an official statement.
Yves Maitre resigns after less than a year as HTC CEO
Maitre joined HTC from Orange back in September 2019. During his time, the Taiwanese company launched its first 5G smartphone, the HTC U20 5G. The company also boosted its VR efforts with its Vive Cosmos family of modular headsets and the Vive XR Suite.
However, the French executive indicated that the VR market isn’t mature enough to support HTC yet. He suggested that the company may have over-invested in VR a bit too early. He believes the VR industry will blossom in about five years of time from now.
Earlier this year, Maitre said the company was aiming for global market leadership in high-end VR. However, there hasn’t been any visible effort to follow up that statement since. HTC’s Vive Cosmos failed to impress and lost ground to Facebook’s Oculus Quest headsets.
All this, coupled with the economic recession caused by the ongoing global health crisis means he was unable to turn HTC’s fortunes around. The company fell to a new all-time low as it posted a ninth consecutive quarterly loss during the second quarter of this year. The quarterly loss of NT$1.83 billion (roughly $62 million) in Q2 2020 was even higher than the NT$1.68 billion ($57 million) loss in the previous quarter.
Earlier in June, HTC announced the third wave of layoffs in two years, following layoffs in December 2019 and in 2018 as well. The company didn’t specify the number of employees affected, though.
Going forward, HTC is still likely to have its focus on the VR industry. With Facebook reportedly launching a new standalone VR headset soon, CEO Cher Wang certainly knows what the company is up against. In the meantime, she’ll also have to ensure that HTC’s smartphone business isn’t completely dead.