After spending a year as HTC’s vice president for industrial design, lead designer Jonah Becker announced his decision to leave via Twitter. Becker replaced his predecessor Scott Croyle, HTC’s longtime chief of design and also his co-principal at One & Co. Design Studio—the design firm HTC acquired last 2008. With Croyle and Becker gone, Carl Zellweger remains the last principal of One & Co.
Tasked with Croyle’s industrial design responsibilities, Becker placed all attention on smartphones while Zellweger spent time on the company’s connected devices, such as the VIVE VR Headset and HTC Grip Fitness Brand.
Becker, along with Croyle, joined the HTC team six years ago after a Taiwanese company bought their design studio One & Co. His announcement of departure came a week after HTC had an executive revamp.
Last week, the company appointed chairwoman Cher Wang as the new Chief Executive Officer. Her predecessor, Peter Chou, will direct most of his attention on HTC’s upcoming Future Development Lab.
HTC confirmed Becker’s departure and appointed Creative Director Daniel Hundt as his replacement.
“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 endeavors. He has been succeeded by Daniel Hundt, based in our San Francisco design office,” says HTC.
HTC’s change of CEOs and smartphone design heads occurred within the month following the company’s official announcement of the One M9. Recently, the One M9’s design was criticized for bearing similar characteristics to its predecessors.
Little details are shed regarding Becker’s reason in departing from Twitter. One of his past tweets showed the ex-lead designers in a photo with co-principals Scott Croyle and Claude Zellweger. This gave followers an impression that their group was a close-knit team. With the One M9 project done and completed, Becker is out on his way to follow Croyle’s footsteps out of the company.
There are numerous speculations that the reason behind Becker’s departure is internal pressure. Some sources say that an increasing power struggle exists between the company’s design team and sales team.
Despite the reason, Becker assured followers of a positive tone on his announcement. His tweet regarding his decision bore no resentment, as stated below:
“It’s been an amazing seventeen year journey with One & Co and HTC, but it’s time for a new adventure. Stay tuned for details of what’s next.”