HTC Chief Product Officer and other execs leave company as its difficulties continueAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
Things haven't exactly been going swimmingly for HTC as of late, with the company reporting some less-than-stellar financial numbers and running into delays with the launch of its One due to component shortages. Now the Taiwanese firm's woes are continuing thanks to the departure of several high-level executives.
HTC has confirmed to AllThingsD that Chief Product Officer Kouji Kodera has left the company, explaining that he has departed HTC in order to "pursue other interests." Kodera's exit is just the latest in a string of executive departures at HTC that also includes Jason Gordon, VP of global communications; Rebecca Rowland, manager of retail marketing; John Starkweather, director of digital marketing; and Eric Lin, product strategy manager. HTC doesn't appear to be gaining any good word of mouth, either, with Lin recently urging his friends at HTC to "just quit," adding that they'll be "so much happier" when they do. A source also told The Verge that anyone in Seattle, where HTC's North American arm is based, doesn't want to work for the company.
Meanwhile, HTC's Facebook-centric First phone doesn't seem to be helping matters. Rumors have suggested that sales of the device at AT&T are low, and one Verge tipster described the First as "a disaster." Interestingly, it's said that Facebook originally planned to delay its launch of the Facebook Home app for Android, which could have helped the First to produce better sales numbers. That ended up not happening, though, as Facebook rolled Home out to the Google Play Store around the same time as the First's launch.
The one bright spot at HTC right now appears to be the company's new flagship One smartphone. While it ran into component supply issues that caused slight launch delays early on, HTC recently revealed that it plans to step up production to help meet "strong demand" for the device. The sources of today's report corroborated the HTC One's recent popularity, saying that while the handset started out slowly, it's been picking up speed lately.
It's always disappointing to see a company running into troubles, and that's especially the case with HTC, which has been in the mobile world for quite a while and has gotten praise for its hardware as of late. The One sounds like it's starting to do pretty well for HTC, though, and it could help to serve as a bandage to stop the bleeding that the firm has been experiencing. A turnaround certainly won't be easy for HTC, especially thanks to Samsung and its 10 million Galaxy S 4 shipments, but it'll be interesting to watch HTC over the next year or so to see if the company can put a stop to its woes and gain some momentum from the One. What do you think is in HTC's future? Will its struggles continue or will it be able to turn things around?