OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has left the firm he founded with Pete Lau in 2013, multiple sources have confirmed. Pei was instrumental in solidifying the tech start-up as one of the biggest smartphone manufacturers in the world. But reports have suggested that the 31-year-old has gone independent to work on a “new venture.” The news of Pei leaving OnePlus surfaced when a Reddit user published alleged screenshots of internal memos at OnePlus. The notices did not have Carl’s name in the lead roles, and he was removed as the lead of the company’s recent affordable Nord line of smartphones.
The listing also had Emily Dai, who is in charge of OnePlus operations in India, responsible for Nord products.
Following this, the tech portal Android Central credited two sources who confirmed that Lei had left the company in “recent weeks.” Two sources familiar with the matter also confirmed the same to Tech Crunch. Although neither Oneplus nor Pei has given any statement to the portals, the sources have said that Pei would not join any other tech company but working on opening his own venture.
On the other hand, the other co-founder of OnePlus and Pei’s former co-worker at Oppo, Pete Lau, is still at the company and holds the CEO’s position. He has also taken on an additional role as Senior Vice President and Chief Product Experience Officer of OPlus, an investment firm responsible for OnePlus, and Oppo.
Pei’s timing of departure after seven years has raised several questions. OnePlus is about to launch its high-end smartphone OnePlus 8T on 14 October. Also, two Nord series models are expected to be launched in the US in the form of OnePlus Nord N10 and N100.
It is to be seen how the departure of a top executive ahead of major product launches affects the company.