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Nextbit hires former HTC design chief

The Google-backed mobile and cloud startup puts Scott Croyle in charge of design and product, and adds him to its board.

Nextbit, a mobile technology startup backed by Google's venture-capital arm, said it bolstered its executive ranks Tuesday by hiring handset maker HTC's former design chief.

HTC design chief Scott Croyle touts the HTC One line of phones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
Scott Croyle, HTC's former design chief, will join a firm created by former Google executives. Stephen Shankland/CNET

The San Francisco-based firm named Scott Croyle as its new vice president of design and product. While at HTC Croyle helped in the push to create a metal casing for the Taiwanese company's flagship HTC One M8 smartphone. In April, HTC confirmed that Croyle would step down as head of design and move into an advisory role to work on projects both in and out of the company.

Nextbit was created by former Google executives Tom Moss and Mike Chan and raised $18 million in January from Accel Partners and Google Ventures to help it develop technologies based around mobile devices and cloud computing. The company was founded by members of the first team to develop Google's Android mobile operating system, and its talent pool now includes former employees from Google, Amazon, Apple, and Dropbox.

Croyle will lead Nextbit's effort to develop technologies focused on intuitive design and user experience. He will join Nextbit's board, alongside Rich Wong from Accel and Rich Miner from Google Ventures.

"This is an awesome team and a great opportunity to create experiences that delight people and redefine the understanding of what is possible with mobile," Croyle said in a statement.

An HTC representative wasn't immediately available for contact.

HTC, which has struggled to gain ground in the smartphone market against Samsung and Apple, hopes to turn around its fortunes with the One M8. Croyle originally joined HTC when the Taiwanese handset purchased One & Co, his San Francisco-based design studio. Since then, he served as head of design and user experience and reported directly to Chief Executive Peter Chou. He often served as one of the faces of HTC, taking time on stage to chat about the design elements of HTC's products.