HTC CEO steps down; telecom veteran assumes post

2019/09/17 21:36:00 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Cher Wang (王雪紅, left) and Yves Maitre

Cher Wang (王雪紅, left) and Yves Maitre

Taipei, Sept. 17 (CNA) HTC Corp., a Taiwanese smartphone vendor, said Tuesday that chairwoman Cher Wang (王雪紅) has stepped down as chief executive officer of the company but still holds the chairmanship.

To succeed Wang, HTC said, the company has appointed Yves Maitre as CEO with immediate effect.

Before joining HTC, Maitre had served as executive vice president of consumer equipment and partnership at Orange, one of the world's largest telecom firms, for more than 14 years.

HTC said Maitre's background covers deployment of the world's largest consumer electronics brands and ownership of an entire portfolio of connected and mobile services at Orange.

The smartphone brand said Maitre was also a member of Orange's innovation technology group, in charge of developing new sales opportunities.

HTC said that as Wang will continue to serve as chairwoman of the company, she will keep focusing on future technologies and laying down strategies for corporate development, which is expected to help the company expand its product portfolio and its vision for Vive Reality.

HTC entered the virtual reality (VR) market with its first VR headset, the HTC Vive, in 2015, followed by subsequent models, in a bid to assuage the impact of rising competition in the global smartphone market, not only in the high-end segment but also in the low- to mid-range segment.

"When I took over as CEO four years ago, I set out to reinvent HTC as a complete ecosystem company and lay the foundation for the company to flourish across 5G and XR (extended reality)," Wang said.

XR refers to all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearable devices.

"So now is the perfect time to hand over the stewardship of HTC to a strong leader to guide us on the next stage of our journey," Wang added.

"I am truly delighted that Yves is taking the reins. He has a long association with our company and he shares our passion for innovation. I firmly believe that Yves is the right leader to continue to lead HTC to its full potential," she said.

In response, Maitre said that HTC has been recognized for its leadership in new technology innovations by integrating its strength in mobile communications and XR and that he has been energized to grow the future of both 5G and XR in the company.

Commenting on 5G technology development, Wang said that HTC has launched a first-of-its-kind 5G mobile smart hub, and that so far, more than 10 companies have partnered with her firm by applying the 5G smart hub to their services.

The 5G smart hub is essentially a 5G mobile hotspot for up to 20 users that can also serve as a mobile hub for streaming TV shows and movies from different apps. It also comes equipped with a battery, so that it can be used anywhere.

While HTC has devoted itself to VR technology, market analysts said the operation still accounts for only a small fraction of the company's sales.

In the first eight months of this year, HTC's consolidated sales stood at NT$6.93 billion (US$223 million), down about 62 percent from a year earlier, evidence that the brand remained bothered by the stiff competition in the global smartphone market.

(By Jiang Ming-yan and Frances Huang)
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