OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei reportedly left the company for a new venture

It is by no means a Samsung, a Huawei, or even an LG but, at least among those knowledgeable about the Android market, OnePlus has become a force to reckon with. It has managed to rank against top phone makers despite its comparatively more meager resources. That has partly been thanks to the vision and leadership of the company's co-founders, one of whom has now reportedly departed from his offspring to pursue still an unrevealed new venture.

Pete Lau may hold the title of CEO but Carl Pei's role in building up the company has been just as critical and significant. He is credit for being one of the bright minds behind OnePlus' hot-selling phones and marketing strategies that put it on the map, sometimes not for good reasons. Few will probably fondly remember the marketing stint that asked owners to destroy their phones in exchange for a still upcoming OnePlus.

Pei was also instrumental in the design of the OnePlus Nord, the company's "back to roots" mid-range line. Due to its pricing and timing, the Nord has become one of its most popular models of late, a phone that has been much-desired in countries like the US where it wasn't made available officially.

That's what makes the timing of this reported departure a bit curious though not exactly extraordinary. In addition to the OnePlus 8T debut coming this week, OnePlus is also expected to launch two new OnePlus Nord models in the US before the month is over. One would presume that Pei would have stuck around until after those events.

Then again, insider sources claim that Pei may have already left weeks ago. The reason isn't exactly sensational but no less intriguing, a still-unnamed mysterious new venture. OnePlus has yet to confirm the departure. In the meantime, CEO Pete Lau has also seemingly reduced his direct involvement in the company, even taking on a limited but significant role at parent company and rival OPPO.