Peter Chou, who co-founded HTC along with Cher Wang, is leaving the company that he helped create. The image of Chou, the long time CEO of the company, holding up the latest HTC handset was one that was quite common for a number of years. Originally a contract manufacturer, HTC was the company behind such handsets as the Sony Xperia X1, the Nexus One and the T-Mobile G1. The company made a name for itself in 2008 with the HTC Touch Diamond, and the HTC Touch Pro. Both Windows Mobile phones had many of the features found on the Apple iPhone (and many that the iPhone didn’t have at the time). The Touch Pro included a slide out physical QWERTY keyboard.
The company started churning out Android handsets by the bushel following the October 2008 release of the first Android handset, the G1. Soon, there would be the highly regarded HTC Droid Incredible, the HTC EVO 4G and the HTC ThunderBolt to name a few. In April 2011, HTC’s soaring stock price hit the equivalent of $40.37 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. But this would prove to be the peak.
Following the disappointing HTC One X series, HTC had a new design to share with the world. Chou showed off the model during a belated year-end’s party in February 2013. Despite the stunning looks of the HTC One (M7) and the HTC One (M8) sequel, HTC soon found itself drenched in red ink. Marketing was not considered Chou’s strong suit and it hurt HTC badly. The company wasted $12 million on a deal with actor Robert Downey Jr. that yielded a ridiculous ad campaign. As a result, Chou turned over marketing chores and other tasks to co-founder Cher Wang so that he could concentrate on innovation. Last year, Chou stepped down as CEO, turning over the position to Wang.
While HTC did rebound from last year’s disappointing HTC One M9 debacle with the newHTC 10, the company can’t seem to pick up any ground on Samsung when it comes to selling flagship Android phones. Chou leaves with the company’s stock trading at the equivalent of $2.93 USD.