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HTC loses its second chief designer in less than a year

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Industrial design lead Jonah Becker is moving on

Just 11 months after HTC's longtime chief of design, Scott Croyle, was revealed to be leaving the company, one of his former allies who stepped in to fill the void has also departed. HTC has confirmed that Jonah Becker has left the company, having previously served as its head of product design. Becker and Croyle joined HTC six years ago, when their design studio One & Co was acquired by the Taiwanese company.

HTC has a new person in charge of smartphone design to go with its new CEO

The design of the new HTC One M9 has been criticized for being too similar to the phones that came before it, but that seems unlikely to have been the impetus for Becker's departure. Pictured in the tweet above with Scott Croyle on his left and Claude Zellweger on his right, Becker was a part of a close-knit team and may simply be following Croyle out of the company now that the M9 project has been completed.

Zellweger and Becker took over industrial design responsibilities from Croyle last year, with the former spending more time on connected devices like the HTC Grip fitness band and Vive VR headset and Becker remaining focused on smartphones. Daniel Hundt, another long-serving member of HTC's design team, will now step in to fill Becker's shoes. HTC's full statement on the matter:

"We can confirm that Jonah Becker has left HTC; he had been with the Company since HTC acquired One & Co over six years ago. We would like to thank Jonah for his work with HTC, and wish him all the best in his future endeavours. He has been succeeded by Daniel Hundt, based in our San Francisco design office."

In the month since the official announcement of the One M9, HTC has changed CEOs and now placed a new person in charge of its smartphone design. While the demotion of former CEO Peter Chou seemed enforced by ongoing concerns about the company's overall performance, Jonah Becker appears to have left of his own accord. These two key changes open the door for a fresh start for HTC's flagship smartphone line, though the new faces aren't new to the company and may still choose to remain faithful to its established design language.

Verge Video: Reviewing HTC's One M9