Taipei: Taiwan’s HTC , the world’s No.5 smartphone vendor, said on Tuesday that its head of innovation, Horace Luke, had resigned for personal reasons, and that the position currently remained vacant.
A company spokeswoman said Luke had left the company at the end of April. She did not give further details. HTC’s 2010 annual report, released last month, had mentioned Luke’s departure in a small footnote to a table.
“I don’t think there’s any impact,” said UBS analyst Arthur Hsieh. “Luke led the innovation team but he was mostly in charge of co-ordination.”
Luke joined from Microsoft in late 2006, the year when the Taiwanese smartphone maker started building own its brand and transforming itself from a contract maker for other brands.
He has won praise from some senior executives as one of the key men behind the company’s smartphone success.
In a past interview with Reuters, Luke had said that innovation for him and HTC was in simple things — making good-looking phones with simple-to-use features. “I ask a very simple question usually: can my mom figure out how to use it? My mom is very smart, she is smarter than me, I definitely know that, but she is not technology savvy, did not grow up with technology. Until she can figure it out I think its still experimental,” he said.
An example is one of the unique functions of HTC phones: going silent when turned upside down.
Luke said the idea came to him when he saw a colleague, embarrassed when his phone suddenly rang in an internal company meeting in early 2010, fumbled to turn the phone off.
HTC shares were up 3.9% at 0250 GMT in a broader market up 0.5%.