OnePlus co-founder and director Carl Pei announced his departure from the handset manufacturer, two days after it launched its latest flagship smartphone.

The news follows speculation earlier this week on his position at the company, with TechCrunch reporting he was on the brink prior to its latest device unveiling on 14 October.

In a blog on the OnePlus community forum, Pei said after spending almost seven years at the company he had made the “difficult decision to say goodbye”, adding positive words about the state of the business and his relationship with fellow founder and current CEO Pete Lau.

Although rumours earlier in the week suggested he was set to start a new venture, in the message the executive stated he was taking time off to “decompress and catch up with family and friends”.

“I’ve never regretted trusting my gut feeling, and this time it’s no different,” he added. “These past years, OnePlus has been my singular focus, and everything else has had to take a backseat.”