Insider says HTC is "in utter freefall"
Today has not been a good news day for HTC. Earlier, we not only heard that the company's Chief Product Officer had left the company last week, but another of a string of employees to leave the company recently told his former colleagues to "just quit. leave now." It has been a rough week, and now an inside source for The Verge has said that HTC is "in utter freefall".
As we mentioned earlier, HTC's Chief Product Officer, Kouji Kodera, was just the latest employee to leave the company. Jason Gordon, the company's Vice President of Global Communications left recently as well. Neither Kodera nor Gordon have announced if they have new jobs lined up. But, others who have left HTC have, like Global Retail Marketing Manager Rebecca Rowland, and Product Strategy Manager Eric Lin (who was the man behind the tweet telling others to "just quit. leave now.") who are both joining Microsoft, and Director of Digital Marketing John Starkweather who will be joining AT&T.
And, employees leaving isn't the only problem for HTC. The company's flagship HTC One has been hit with inventory issues since its launch (which are said to have been fixed), which apparently was not a surprise to those on the inside. Word has it that the HTC staff warned CEO Peter Chou of supply and manufacturing delays months before the One was to launch. Add that to the essential failure of the HTC First (even if a fair amount of blame there should be on Facebook Home rather than HTC,) and the rumor that CEO Peter Chou could step down if the HTC One isn't a retail success, and there are a lot of reasons to be hesitant about the future of HTC.
The source for The Verge not only said the company was "in utter freefall", but went as far as to liken the state of HTC to T-Mobile from two years ago, when T-Mo was facing a subscriber exodus, and closing retail stores en masse. T-Mobile's troubles ended with AT&T attempting and failing to acquire the company, so any comparison to that situation for HTC is certainly troubling.
Sales of the HTC One have supposedly rebounded after the initial inventory problems, but with the Samsung Galaxy S4 on the market and selling like... well, selling like a Samsung Galaxy S phone (estimates put the SGS4's first month sales at 10 million), HTC may have missed its window. We had said right from the start that as amazing as the HTC One looked in terms of build quality, it needed to make a splash in the market before the Galaxy S4 hit stores in order to have a real chance. The name recognition alone on the Galaxy brand makes it difficult for competitors without having to deal with inventory and supply problems as well. Additionally, HTC wasn't able to capitalize on its headstart, because while it did generate buzz around the One in the tech community, its "Marketing 2.0" campaigns generated little to no buzz in casual consumers.
This doesn't necessarily mean that it is all doom for HTC, but at the very least, it makes CEO Peter Chou's position very tenuous, and makes us believe there are going to be some big changes inside the company.
source: The Verge