On September 17, HTC announced that cofounder Cher Wang would be stepping down as CEO. In her place, Yves Maitre stepped into the role of Chief Executive, after more than a decade at French telecom giant, Orange.
It’s a tough job at an even tougher time. The move comes on the tail of five consecutive quarterly losses and major layoffs, including a quarter of the company’s staff, which were let go in July of last year.
It’s a far fall for a company that comprised roughly 11 percent of global smartphone sales, some eight years ago. These days, HTC is routinely relegated to the “other” column when these figures are published.
All of this is not to say that the company doesn’t have some interesting irons in the fire. With Vive, HTC has demonstrated its ability to offer a cutting edge VR platform, while Exodus has tapped into an interest in exploring the use of blockchain technologies for mobile devices.
Of course, neither of these examples show any sign of displacing HTC’s once-booming mobile device sales. And this January’s $ 1.1 billion sale of a significant portion of its hardware division to Google has left many wondering whether it has much gas left in the mobile tank.
With Wang initially scheduled to appear on stage at Disrupt this week, the company ultimately opted to have Maitre sit in on the panel instead. In preparation for the conversation, we sat down with the executive to discuss his new role and future of the struggling Taiwanese hardware company.
5G, XR and the future of the HTC brand
Earlier this month, HTC co-founder Cher Wang stepped down from her role as CEO. In her place, former Orange EVP Yves Maitre has taken up the reins for the Taipei-based smartphone maker.
One of Maitre’s first acts as the head of HTC will be to join us at Disrupt in October. The interview — and his new role — comes at a tenuous time for HTC. The company has been harder hit than most by several years of stagnant smartphone sales.
In spite of a $ 1.1 billion deal in 2017 that gave Google access to most of the Taiwanese company’s R&D resources, the following year still saw massive layoffs. All the while, it has looked to emerging technologies like VR and blockchain as a potential way forward in an oversaturated market. In his first public interview, Maitre will discuss how HTC got here and what the company can and will do to help turn the ship around.
Maitre joins an incredible speaker lineup, which includes Steph Curry, Rachel Haurwitz from Caribou Bioscience, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zoox’s Aicha Evans. Still need tickets? You can pick those up right here.