HTC’s Peter Chou is stepping down from CEO duties, but he still wants the title

Things are changing at HTC, as a new report says that CEO Peter Chou will now be sharing some of his duties with the firm’s chairman and co-founder, Cher Wang. The re-allocation of roles will see Chou concentrate on innovation and product development, while Wang will add sales, marketing and supplier relationships to her ever-growing list of responsibilities at the company. According to Reuters, H.T. Chou, another co-founder of the company, has also made a return, and will be working on some unnamed phone projects.

This news comes months after Chou claimed that if the HTC One didn’t sell, he would step down as CEO. The One hasn’t failed, but it’s hard to call it a resounding success either. HTC is still struggling and it hasn’t torn any market share away from rival Samsung. So, it’s not a failure or success. And so Chou has stepped out of some of his CEO roles, but not all of them.

It’s an interesting move, and further proof HTC isn’t taking its recent slump lightly. Peter Chou, at least in public, seems to be happy with the alteration, telling the Financial Times, “I have become very focused in the past couple of months. Before that I was too busy. I took on too many things. I need to be more focused on innovation and the product portfolio.”

While Chou sounds fired up at the prospect of getting back to designing phones, will it help HTC? In a Reuters profile on Chou back in August, it was noted he was in his element when working with hardware, and among other things, was credited with taking the successful Sensation XL from creation to launch in just three months. However, insiders also said HTC struggles because it doesn’t have a clear long-term strategy, and the executive reshuffle could be a prime example of this, as the shift is being described as, “temporary.”

As for Cher Wang, it became clear she had taking a more active role in HTC’s future a few months ago, when it emerged she was overseeing an HTC project to write a custom, China-specific operating system. Could these extra responsibilities, accompanied by Peter Chou’s move to a more product-focussed role, be a prelude to more permanent changes? Will Cher Wang takeover as CEO in the near future, and will Peter Chou be forced to act on his promise to completely step down if the HTC One wasn’t a resounding success?

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