OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has left the company, he confirmed on Friday. Pei, 31, said he plans to take some time off before pursuing his next step. "After nearly 7 years at OnePlus, I've made the difficult decision to say goodbye," wrote Pei in a post on the OnePlus forum.
TechCrunch reported earlier this week that Pei was leaving the company to start a new venture. Pei, who co-founded OnePlus in late 2013 with Pete Lau, has been the public face of the company ever since. He played an instrumental role in designing the OnePlus smartphone lineup over the years, and also how the company marketed them and itself.
“The world didn’t need another smartphone brand in 2013. But we saw ways of doing things better and dreamt of shaking things up. Better products. Built hand in hand with our users. At more reasonable prices. Fast forward to today, and OnePlus is a strong force to be reckoned when it comes to flagship smartphones. And the new Nord product line, this success will continue into new market segments,” Pei wrote in the post.
Pei’s departure comes in the same week as OnePlus launched its new flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 8T. TechCrunch reached out to OnePlus for comment on Monday and has yet to hear back.
News outlet Android Central speculated earlier this week that Pei was leaving the firm possibly because of an alleged "internal power struggle" between him and Lau, 45. Lau took an additional role of SVP at Oppo. BBK Group owns OnePlus, Realme, Oppo and Vivo. OnePlus has always avoided questions about its ownership structure.
“I am eternally grateful to Pete for taking a chance in this kid without a college degree, with nothing to his name but a dream. The trust, mentorship, and camaraderie will never be forgotten. Thanks for the opportunity of a lifetime,” Pei wrote.
Pei said he was leaving the company because OnePlus had been his singular focus for the last seven years. "I've never regretted trusting my gut feeling, and this time it's no different. These past years, OnePlus has been my singular focus, and everything else has had to take a backseat. I'm looking forward to taking some time off to decompress and catch up with my family and friends," he wrote. "And then follow my heart on to what's next."