OnePlus has been difficult to talk about as a seedy smartphone startup since its close ties with Oppo, Vivo, and electronics giant BBK came to light, but it’s still hard to see the impact of Carl Pei, the company’s long-time public face to overestimate. who confirmed his departure today. As a marketer and brand maker, he used a combination of bold promises, real conversations, and unconventional marketing campaigns to turn smartphone enthusiasts who are simply looking for a good deal into a community of OnePlus fans.
In a blog post on the OnePlus forums, Pei says he’s looking forward to taking some time to decompress and meet my family, without going into why he̵
In either case, it seems abrupt: Android Central and Android police reported that he had left the company four days ago and OnePlus was unwilling to answer questions about where he had gone and why. Perhaps the company just didn’t want to distract from the new phone it launched on Wednesday: the OnePlus 8T. Meanwhile, Pei led the development of the more affordable OnePlus phone of late: the Nord.
Here is Pei’s full memo:
After almost 7 years at OnePlus, I made the difficult decision to say goodbye.
I grew up on the Internet a lot and built up products and communities. Seeing that ideas in my head are turned into reality and can influence people’s lives has given me a lot of joy, and I knew early on that this was the way for me.
The world didn’t need another smartphone brand in 2013. But we’ve seen ways to do things better and dreamed of messing things up. Better products. Built hand in hand with our users. At lower prices. Fast forward to today, and OnePlus is a strong force when it comes to flagship smartphones. With the new Nord product line, this success will also be continued in new market segments.
When OnePlus just turned 24, I spent most of my 20s there and grew up there too. From nervous interviews with my first employee to intense stage fright when presenting a product for the first time to learning how to manage a team … The journey was real. I can’t think of a more rewarding adventure for the things we’ve achieved and learned.
Our community joined the movement before we even had a product, when we just had ambitions and ideas. Hundreds of you come to have ice cream with me, thousands attend our launch events and millions buy our products worldwide. I want to thank you all for believing in us over the years.
And the team. The amazing people I was lucky enough to fight side by side with. The friendships I made here are the most precious parts of this trip. With them, the company is in competent hands.
I am eternally grateful to Pete for taking a risk in this college kid with nothing to his name but a dream. The trust, mentorship and camaraderie will never be forgotten. Thank you for the unique opportunity.
I’ve never regretted trusting my gut instinct, and this time it’s no different. Over the past few years, OnePlus has been my unique focus and everything else has had to take a back seat. I look forward to taking some time off to relax and meet my family and friends. And then keep following my heart to what’s next.
With gratitude, Carl
We’ve interviewed him a few times on new smartphone launches, and you can almost get a sense of how the company has changed by reading each one.