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With HTC One M8 launched, design chief set to leave

Scott Croyle, the man who helped drive the HTC One's metal design, plans to leave the Taiwanese company.

The HTC One M8. Sarah Tew/CNET

HTC is losing one of the principle architects of its flagship phone.

Scott Croyle, head of design at HTC, will take a new advisory role to work on projects both in and outside of the company, a company spokesman confirmed to CNET on Friday. The Verge eariler reported on the move.

HTC design chief Scott Croyle touts the HTC One line of phones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
HTC design chief Scott Croyle touts the HTC One line of phones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Stephen Shankland/CNET

Croyle was one of the proponents of using metal to encase the HTC One and the recent successor, the HTC One M8. It's that unique design that has set the phones apart from the competition, giving it a level of buzz in the face of a marketing blitz from rival Samsung. HTC is hoping the M8 will help turn around its fortunes.

"HTC remains at the forefront of smartphone innovation," a company spokesman said in an e-mailed statement. "Scott Croyle will be focusing on special projects and dedicated on next generation developments."

Still, the spokesman said the new role would allow Croyle to "keep growing beyond HTC."

Drew Bamford, who worked on Sense and previously reported to Croyle, was promoted and will run all software and services under a new group called HTC Creative Labs. He will now report to HTC Chief Executive Peter Chou.

"Drew Bamford is experienced and talented leader at HTC with solid track records in leading and building our user experience team," the spokesman said.

Croyle recently talked to CNET about the origins of the HTC One M8 and his focus on the new design, which incorporate more metal for cleaner, sleeker look.

Croyle originally joined HTC when the Taiwanese handset purchased One & Co, his San Francisco-based design studio. Since then, he has served as head of design and user experience and reported directly to Chou. He has often served as one of the faces of HTC, taking time on stage to chat about the design elements of HTC's products.

HTC has managed to pair the One M8 with a more aggressive marketing campaign, but it's still unclear whether its flagship phone will have success against Samsung's Galaxy S5.

Updated at 1:53 p.m. PT: To include a response from the company.