Cher Wang, CEO of HTC Corporation, is stepping down as head of the company.
Wang, who remains Chairwoman of the HTC board, will be replaced by Yves Maitre from French telecom company, Orange. In a press release, the company said its former CEO will now focus on “future technologies” including its Vive Reality initiative.
“When I took over as CEO four years ago, I set out to reinvent HTC as a complete ecosystem company and lay the foundations for the company to flourish across 5G and XR [extended reality],” Wang said in a prepared statement. “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 became CEO of HTC in 2015, replacing Peter Chou. That was roughly a year before it launched the HTC Vive VR headset with Valve. Over the following years, HTC launched four more VR headsets, including the enterprise-focused Vive Pro and Vive Pro Eye as well as the standalone Vive Focus and Vive Focus Plus.
But, as HTC expands its VR operations, declining smartphone sales routinely led to poor fiscal reports.
Maitre’s appointment suggests the company isn’t ready to throw in the towel on smartphones yet. In a prepared statement, though, the new CEO emphasized “both 5G and XR” as future growth areas for the company.
Next month HTC will launch its second consumer-focused PC VR headset, the Vive Cosmos. The kit offers impressive optics and inside-out tracking, with the promise of modular upgrades. But, at $699, we’ll have to wait and see how it competes with the affordable ($399) Oculus Rift S and the high-end ($999) Valve Index.