HTC’s Chou appointed director of Digital Domain
Peter Chou, head of the Future Development Lab of Taiwanbased smartphone vendor HTC Corp., has been appointed executive director of Hong Kong-listed Digital Domain Holdings Ltd..
Digital Domain is engaged in a wide range of businesses, including media entertainment, digital visual special effects (VFX), coproduction of movies, property investment and development, and trading. On its website, Digital Domain has delivered innovative visuals for more than 100 movies, including “Iron Man 3,” the “Transformers” series and “Titanic.”
The appointment by Digital Domain has stirred up speculation that Chou, 59, is leaving HTC, but the smartphone vendor said that he still works for HTC and by taking up the director position at Digital Domain, he aims to help HTC develop the virtual reality (VR) business.
HTC is gearing up to grasp a share in the VR headset business by launching the HTC Vive headset, hoping that this will help the company strengthen its bottom line at a time when the Taiwanese firm is faced with escalating competition in the world’s smartphone market.
Digital Domain said that Chou is scheduled to begin his new job on Aug. 31, and he will hold onto the executive director position until the next general meeting, when he will retire and become eligible for re-election at the meeting.
In March, Chou stepped down as the chief executive officer of HTC but shifted his position to head the smartphone brand’s Future Development Lab to help the company identify growth opportunities. HTC’s co-founder and chairwoman Cher Wang assumed the CEO position.
HTC said that Chou’s new post in Digital Domain is expected to allow HTC to gain a better understanding of the development of the VR business since the Taiwanese firm is determined to seek more business cooperation opportunities in this field. HTC said that so far, it has more than 100 business partners in this sector.
While HTC wants to use VR to help it make a turnaround, a European brokerage said that it is impossible for the smartphone vendor to turn a profit in the next three years. In the first half of this year, HTC incurred NT$9.70 (US$0.30) in loss per share, and the company has forecast that it will post an additional NT$5.85 to NT$5.51 in net loss per share in the third quarter.
The brokerage said that HTC will likely suffer NT$ 18.43, NT$9.72 and NT$1.74 in loss per share for 2015, 2016, 2017, respectively. It has maintained an “underweight” rating on HTC shares and cut a target on the stock to NT$40, from NT$69.
On Friday, shares of HTC closed up 0.53 percent to reach NT$47.10 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.