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HTC phone chief quits as company prepares for what may be its last flagship

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No replacement identified

HTC U11 Plus
Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge

News out of Taiwan today is that HTC’s president of smartphone and connected devices business is resigning, effectively immediately. Chialin Chang, who’d previously served as HTC’s CFO and, between 2013 and 2017, its head of global sales, was one of the last remaining high-level executives not to have departed the company. But the position he was occupying started to look redundant after HTC sold off most of its smartphone design and engineering team to Google for $1.1 billion.

HTC hasn’t yet quit the smartphone business entirely, as the company has already promised a dual-camera flagship phone for 2018, which we can surmise is the U12 that was teased a couple of weeks ago. Sources familiar with HTC’s roadmap have told The Verge that the next major phone launch from the company won’t be at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this month, but will come soon after. What, if anything, we can expect from HTC’s smartphone division after that point is unknown.

Though brief, HTC’s disclosure today indicates that Chialin Chang has resigned due to his personal career plan — presumably meaning he no longer wants to be the captain of a vanishing ship — and, ominously, the section for his replacement is left unfilled.