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Cher Wang, chairman and co-founder, HTC

Cher Wang, chairman and co-founder, HTC

If women in senior positions within mobile industry players are few and far between, then female founders of powerful firms are truly scarce. But in Cher Wang, handset vendor HTC has just that. Wang co-founded the firm with current CEO Peter Chou, and remains chairman.

She has a reputation for being shy of the limelight and this seems to be reflected in the HTC strategy. The firm’s involvement in the mobile industry was initially restricted to the design and manufacture of handsets on behalf of other vendors, or operators. Only more recently has it begun to try and establish itself as a brand in its own right. The firm’s marketing tagline, ‘Quietly brilliant’, offers an insight into corporate philosophy.

Wang was born into one of the richest families in Taiwan but she is widely regarded as having built her success irrespective of her privilege rather than because of it. HTC was originally a manufacturer of notebook computers but the firm’s trajectory was shifted by the intense competition in that space. Now it is one of a few handset firms focused exclusively on smartphones.

It was tethered initially to the Windows Mobile operating system but it was its pioneering position in the Android space that really brought it to prominence. The first vendor to manufacture a handset based on the Google-backed operating system, HTC has established itself as the leading vendor in the space, going on to build Google’s ownbranded phone, the Nexus One.

Perhaps in line with her tendency to privacy, Wang is not listed on HTC’s corporate site as one of the executive management team. But as the founder and chairman she reportedly remains closely involved in the company’s strategic direction. HTC has quickly become a force to be reckoned with, something that owes an enormous amount to a woman who seems to encompass the company motto.


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