Former HTC design chief lands at Fitbit

Jonah Becker, former chief designer for HTC, has taken a new job designing products for Fitbit, where he'll still be competing with Apple and Samsung with wearable fitness products.

Marguerite Reardon Former senior reporter
Marguerite Reardon started as a CNET News reporter in 2004, covering cellphone services, broadband, citywide Wi-Fi, the Net neutrality debate and the consolidation of the phone companies.
Marguerite Reardon
2 min read

Jonah Becker, the executive most responsible for the look of the HTC One M9, will bring his skills to fitness device maker Fitbit.

Fitbit is Jonah Becker's next home. Jonah Becker

Becker announced his departure from HTC last week. He will serves as vice president of industrial design -- a newly created position at Fitbit -- and will report to CEO James Park, Fitbit said in an e-mailed statement. Recode earlier reported on Becker's new job.

With Fitbit, Backer is jumping into the hot fitness-tracker market, a business that is about to get a bit more crowded with Apple launching its first wearable product, the Apple Watch, on April 24.

Fitbit wasn't immediately available for comment.

Fitbit has made a name for itself with simple bands that track steps. Becker, who has a long history of design with many different products, could bring a new twist to the look of Fitbit's products.

Becker had only been at HTC for less than two years when he announced last week on Twitter that he was leaving the Taiwanese smartphone maker. He had replaced Scott Croyle, who had held the chief designer position before him.

At HTC, Becker was associate vice president of industrial design, where he oversaw the development of devices including the company's recently unveiled HTC One M9 smartphone. The device has gotten strong reviews, including a four-star rating from CNET's Reviews team. But critics have complained that it hadn't distinguished itself from last year's M8.

Becker's departure from HTC last week was yet another signal that the smartphone maker is having trouble keeping talent as it struggles to keep up with competitors, such as Apple and Samsung, in the ultra-competitive high-end smartphone market. Last month, HTC announced that the company's co-founder and chairwoman Cher Wang would replace long-time CEO Peter Chou, who will remain at the company to help develop new products. Under Chou, HTC was known for its innovative designs.

Becker, along with fellow former HTC executive Scott Croyle, was previously a partner in design firm One & Co., which HTC acquired six years ago. While at One & Co, Becker worked with athletic companies such as Adidas, Burton Snowboards, K2 Sports and Nike.