Wednesday 22 May 2013

Report suggests that HTC are in 'freefall': Who, What and Why? [Update: Asia CEO leaves too!]

   Reports from The Verge today are saying that HTC is in a little bit of a mess at the moment. Apparently the company is shedding high ranking people with dangerous speed as the company is ' in utter freefall'! Our first reaction to this story was 'wow', but lets have a little look at the things we do know and see if we can get to the bottom of this!

   Today's report explains that HTC's latest loss is their HTC's Chief Product Officer, Kouji Kodera, who has vacated his post which saw him manage HTC's overall product strategy and his timing just after the worldwide release of the HTC One is really interesting, because he's either had enough of working for the company or the new flagship has failed to gain traction and we believe that it would probably be the former of those options.

   In recent months other people like Kodera have headed for the door. HTC's VP of Global Communications, James Gordan, has moved on, as have Rebecca Rowland, John Starkweather and Eric Lin, each of whom were the global retail marketing manager, director of digital marketing and the head of product strategy and those are all key positions which have been vacated!

   The interesting thing is that these guys aren't all heading to one company, instead two have joined Microsoft and one AT&T, so there's no poaching going on here. Instead, one of The Verge's unnamed sources said that:
"Anyone who's heard of them in Seattle doesn't want to go work for them right now. They're like T-Mobile two years ago... They're in utter freefall."
   Some of the marketing departures can be explained by the company moving their advertising efforts back to Taiwan since Ben Ho became the new CMO late last year, while the hardware and software teams in San Francisco and Seattle have been perfectly on track!

   Other issues have been reported as the CEO, Peter Chou, has been making brash decisions instead of sticking with long term strategy and apparently he was in part to blame for the supply issues which plagued the HTC One launch, which we was made aware of months in advance. This led to HTC One sales being missed because they simply couldn't make enough devices and naturally those sales were snapped up by Samsung's Galaxy S4! The launch of the HTC First has
also been hugely morale draining according to The Verges' sources.

   HTC's Peter Chou has promised to step down if the HTC One doesn't turn the company's fortunes around and we'll have to wait until the end of June to find out if it did, but what do you guys think? Are Samsung too dominant in the Android world? Do Google need to step in or can they? And most importantly, do HTC have a future in mobile? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Via TheVerge.

[Update]: HTC Asia's CEO, Lennard Hoornik, has also left the company following a period of two months where he was taking leave!
Via CNet.


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