HTC announced Monday that Chia-Lin Chang has been appointed as the company's CFO, replacing the outspoken Winston Yung. Chang had previously worked as an engineer at Motorola, and had been a partner at Goldman Sachs in Taiwan. Yung, meanwhile, will assume a new role in corporate development.
HTC didn't offer an immediate reason for the move, though it comes just a few months after the manufacturer released a rather dismal Q4 earnings report. The outgoing Yung has been with HTC since 2011, but had been rather vocal during his brief tenure as CFO and during that time the company made some questionable moves, including the purchase of Beats Audio. Yung was also involved in HTC's recent Studio launch, which was part of a larger initiative to turn HTC around by focusing on a set of "worldwide flagship products."
Robert Yen, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, said that Monday's move may signal a shift in HTC's financial strategy, telling Reuters that the change suggests a "more aggressive attitude toward its finance department in terms of creating value other than just accounting integrity, especially the value in enhancing the uniqueness and competitiveness of its smartphone products and services." But Tom Tang, a vice president at Masterlink Investment Advisory, took a more circumspect approach to HTC's announcement, explaining that "[w]hen a company changes its CFO, it often indicates that the company's operations or financials have reached a bottleneck."
Update: HTC has issued a statement on the transition:
On Monday, HTC announced the appointment of Chia-Lin Chang as Chief Financial Officer withWinston Yung, his predecessor, transitioning to a corporate development role.
"Media speculation that ties this announcement to HTC’s partnership and investment in Beats By Dre is categorically inaccurate," said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corporation. "HTC and Beats have made impressive progress in innovation and brand awareness and the integration of the Beats brand and technology in the new HTC One series is a clear indication of our commitment to this partnership."