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HTC’s top Vive designer is leaving to work on Google Daydream

It seems like Silicon Valley hiring season right now, as swiftly on the heels of Hugo Barra announcing his move to direct Facebook VR[1], it’s emerged that Google has recruited a senior new designer for its Daydream VR mobile platform. Claude Zellweger, who most recently led HTC’s Vive design team and played a major role in developing HTC’s smartphone design language, made the news public in a tweet:

Zellweger’s HTC email address is no longer active, and the Taiwanese company provided the following statement when queried by The Verge:

“HTC can confirm that Claude Zellweger has left the Company. We appreciate his considerable contribution to HTC, and wish him well in his future endeavors.

HTC continues to invest in talent and recruitment as part of our broader strategy to ensure the continued strength and integrity of the Company’s organizational structure.”

HTC is rapidly running out of senior designers

In 2014, HTC lost its longtime design chief[2], Scott Croyle, who started afresh with the Nextbit cloud-centric smartphone[3]. Less than a year later, Croyle’s successor at HTC, Jonah Becker, departed the company[4] to head up industrial design at Fitbit. The two of them initially joined HTC when their design company, One & Co, was acquired by the Taiwanese electronics maker in 2008, and their third partner in that venture was Claude Zellweger.

Eight years after joining HTC, Zellweger now completes the One & Co exodus.

HTC’s smartphone design isn’t likely to be impacted greatly by Zellweger’s departure, as his focus over the past couple of years had shifted to the HTC Vive virtual reality headset.

Daniel Hundt is expected to continue stewarding HTC’s phone efforts into the future.

Zellweger’s work on the Vive headset, which underwent many design studies and iterations before arriving at a consumer-friendly version[5], gives him plenty of useful experience to help steer Google’s design for Daydream View VR headsets[6].

His intimate familiarity with mobile hardware should also be an asset in helping to accelerate the development of Daydream.

References

  1. ^ move to direct Facebook VR (www.theverge.com)
  2. ^ lost its longtime design chief (www.theverge.com)
  3. ^ Nextbit cloud-centric smartphone (www.theverge.com)
  4. ^ departed the company (www.theverge.com)
  5. ^ a consumer-friendly version (www.theverge.com)
  6. ^ Daydream View VR headsets (www.theverge.com)

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