Wed, Jul 27, 2011 - Page 12 News List

HTC confirms its chief innovation officer left in April

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff Reporter

Smartphone maker HTC Corp (宏達電) recently lost an important executive at a time when the world’s No. 5 smartphone brand is embroiled in a patent fight with Apple Inc and facing intensified competition from Samsung Electronics Co.

Horace Luke (陸學森), who joined HTC in 2006 as chief innovation officer, left the company at the end of April, HTC confirmed in an e-mailed statement yesterday, following reports of Luke’s departure by various foreign news outlets earlier yesterday.

“Horace Luke, HTC’s chief innovation officer, has left HTC for personal reasons,” the company said in the statement.

Speculation that Luke had left started when the Chinese-language Commercial Times reported on June 23 that HTC’s annual report, which was released at its shareholders’ meeting last month, stated in a footnote that he “was no longer working as the chief innovation officer.”

The company said yesterday that vice president of design Scott Croyle — formerly a partner at San Francisco-based industrial design firm One & Co, which HTC acquired in 2008 — has taken over Luke’s responsibilities.

“Horace nurtured a culture of innovation at HTC and instilled a strong consumer design-focus among our employees, who continue to raise the bar in designing products that capture our customers’ imagination,” the firm said.

Luke has strong hardware and software innovation and design capabilities in consumer and communication electronics. He was particularly known for his effort in helping to push forward the company’s Touch Diamond smartphone in 2008 and its first Google Android smartphone, HTC Desire, last year.

Prior to joining HTC, Luke worked at Microsoft Corp and Nike Inc. Luke’s departure marked the second major personnel change at HTC this month. On July 13, the company announced the promotion of Jason Mackenzie, president of the firm’s North America and Latin America operations, to the newly created position of global sales and marketing president, a move viewed by market watchers as a strategy to strengthen HTC’s competition with Apple in the US market.

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