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Another top executive calls it quits at HTC as company explores new industries

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Another top-ranking executive has left HTC as the company fights to stay relevant by innovating in new areas like virtual reality

Another top-ranking figure has left HTC as Global Executive Vice President Jason Mackenzie announced the end of his run with the Taiwanese consumer electronics firm via Twitter, saying Monday was his final day.

Previously employed at Siemens, he moved to HTC in 2005, right before the company emerged as a global player in the burgeoning smartphone market with its TouchFLO-powered Windows Mobile devices. Mackenzie rose through the ranks to eventually become president of HTC America in 2013. He was promoted to his EVP just about a year ago.

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The intervening 12 years have been a bit of a roller-coaster ride for Mackenzie and the company. The rise of Android in the early days of the platform mirrored HTC’s own, and the company quickly came to be known as one of Google’s most innovative and valuable partners. Recent years, however, haven’t been nearly as kind, and though HTC continues to produce quality devices, it has struggled to regain the foothold it once claimed in the smartphone business.

Mackenzie’s departure comes mere days after news broke that Claude Zellweger, HTC’s vice president of design, left the company. Zellweger was instrumental in defining the aesthetic of HTC’s products, and most recently was heading up the team responsible for developing the Vive virtual reality headset. He’s since moved to Google to focus his efforts on Daydream VR. Engadget reports the designer actually left in July.

HTC is trying to stay relevant with expansion into new industries and revenue streams. The company has become a major player in the nascent virtual reality space with the Vive, which it co-developed with video game developer and distribution giant Valve. Meanwhile, it has assumed manufacturing duties for Google’s flagship Pixel smartphone. That particular agreement appears to have been a smart one for HTC, as it allows the company to focus on its strength — namely, building quality smartphones — while leaving the dilemma of marketing to a media powerhouse.