Earlier this week, reports sparked of OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei’s apparent departure from the company. As of Friday, the news is official as per a farewell letter posted to the OnePlus forums.
— Carl Pei (@getpeid) October 16, 2020
After nearly 7 years at OnePlus, I’ve made the difficult decision to say goodbye.
I grew up spending tremendous amounts of time on the internet, building products and communities. Seeing that ideas in one’s mind could be turned into reality and impact people’s lives gave me lots of joy, and I knew early on that this was the path for me.
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 with the new Nord product line, this success will continue into new market segments.
Having just turned 24 when OnePlus started, it’s where I spent most of my 20s, and also where I grew up. From nervously interviewing my first employee, to facing severe stage fright the first time I presented a product, to learning how to manage a team… The journey has been real. The things we’ve accomplished and learned, I can’t begin to imagine a more rewarding adventure.
Our community joined the movement before we even had a product, back when all we had were ambitions and ideas. From having hundreds of you show up to have ice cream with me, thousands attending our launch events, and tens of millions purchasing our products worldwide; I want to thank you all for believing in us throughout all these years.
And the team. The amazing people that I’ve been fortunate to fight side by side with. The friendships I’ve made here are the most precious parts of this journey. With them, the company is in capable hands.
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.
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. And then follow my heart on to what’s next.
In the letter, Pei acknowledges that OnePlus took up most of his twenties going into his thirties, and he wishes to take time off to slow down and shift focus back on relationships with family and friends before his next venture. Thanks for shaking up the mobile landscape, Carl. We’ll see you around.
Back in 2013, OnePlus was a company that knew how to build hype and gather attention with its first smartphone. The OnePlus One was a radical new smartphone that would combine a high-end chipset with a midrange price point. All these years later, OnePlus is now a major smartphone brand to be reckoned with.