Despite HTC’s return to profitability with its One (M8) smartphone, the company is still seeing a shakeup among the executive ranks.
According to a Bloomberg report, CMO Ben Ho and president of engineering and operations Fred Liu are resigning. Multiple reports indicate that Ho, who just joined the company about 18 months ago, fell out of favor due to the expensive and largely unsuccessful $1 billion “Here’s To Change” marketing campaign featuring actor Robert Downey Jr.
The specifics surrounding Liu’s departure, however, remain unclear. According to Bloomberg’s sources he is retiring after 16 years with the company and will remain on board until a replacement is found. However, The Verge, citing its own sources, said both Liu and Ho were “being fired in a nice way” (whatever that means) and no longer involved in day-to-day operations.
The resignations do not seem to indicate any disruption to HTC’s product roadmap, with the company set to announce its first wearables in the coming months. The departures come not long after the April exit of head designer Scott Croyle, responsible for the design of the One smartphone line.
While HTC has not acknowledged Ho and Liu’s changing status, it released the following statement:
“HTC’s dedication to innovation drives us to pursue our goals. We are taking the necessary steps to create a resurgence of the HTC brand. As a company, we will continue to push forward, making the hard decisions needed to continue growing as a global presence. We are confident that the business steps we have taken, and continue to take, are the right ones to lead to a strong resurgence of the HTC brand. HTC continues to invest in talent and recruitment as part of our broader human resources strategy to ensure the continued strength of our company’s organizational structure.”