Even his fiercest critics agree Chou remains the heart of the company and say it is hard to imagine HTC coming up with great devices without him.
As it seeks to turn around its fortunes, HTC has launched cheaper phones in China, and brought out a smaller, cheaper version of its flagship phone, the One Mini. It is trying to revive its US business by working more closely with operators and forming a new operations team.
HTC has also signed up Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr, whose own turnaround story — from jail and drug rehabilitation over a decade ago — is an “inspiration,” Ho says.
As part of HTC’s about US$1 billion annual marketing spend, the first advertisements featuring Downey appeared last week.