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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

September 20, 2007 at 11:52 AM

HTC’s US executive leaves Bellevue office

Todd Achilles, the vice president of sales and marketing with HTC Americas, has left the Taiwanese cell phone manufacturer, according to RCR Wireless News.

HTC Americas is based in Bellevue, where Achilles opened an office about a year ago to support Microsoft and to strengthen ties with Cingular and T-Mobile, which also have major operations here.

HTC mostly makes phones that use the Windows Mobile operating system and are branded under the carrier’s name, such as the T-Mobile Dash, or the Cingular 3125.

RCR reported that HTC is actively pursuing candidates to replace Achilles, but did not mention where he was working now. Phone calls to Achilles’ cell phone were not answered.

In a story published in November, I reported that HTC’s Eastgate office has expanded from three to 40 workers. Achilles said then that it could easily reach 100 by the end of 2006 if it keeps hiring at the rate of five to six job offers a week.

Future hires were to include a 12-person engineering team to drive some of the highest-level industrial design work for the company. The team is expected to push the boundaries for creating devices for new networks capable of high broadband speeds. Products could include devices that mimic miniature, long-battery-life laptops that can make phone calls.

HTC is also rumored to be working on Google’s attempt at a mobile phone, called by some the Gphone. Brier Dudley blogged yesterday about rumors surfacing that the phone’s launch could be pushed back until next year in order to move it to the faster 3G networks.

Perhaps a major departure like Achilles could also cause a delay.

UPDATE: Achilles just called me to confirm that he left HTC a couple of weeks ago. He said: “I’ve been enjoying some free time and I’m hanging out working on some projects, and catching up, which is kind of nice.” Achilles said at the job, he was traveling about 80 percent of the time, and wanted to spend some time off before having his second child in November.

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