As doomsday looms closer for HTC, billionaire co-founder takes over to turn the tide

As doomsday looms closer for HTC, billionaire co-founder takes over to turn the tide

HTC’s stock has tanked to what looks like the absolute bottom: the company trades close to the 120-something Taiwan dollars rock bottom it hit in October, and analysts across the board don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. 

As doomsday seems to loom closer for HTC, though, one woman has stepped up to weather the storm.

We’re speaking about Cher Wang, of course. The daughter of a Taiwanese petrochemical mogul, 55-year old Wang has always held a commanding position at HTC, but only recently has she started taking over the steering wheel. Once the richest woman in Taiwan, Wang has comparatively modest fortunes now, after HTC's prime. As of chief executive Peter Chou, the public face of HTC, he will not be stepping down after this change, nor is he losing his formal title in the company, but in fact, his responsibilities are now limited to making great products, not so much on the operations daily grind.

“I think we are on the right track,” Chou said. “Now Cher is 100 percent focused on marketing, customer service, so I don’t have to worry. I have a lot more time driving the product, quality, supply.”

And it is indeed marketing, or lack thereof, that most analysts blame HTC’s downfall on. The company has received mostly positive reviews for its last year’s HTC One, and this year’s successor, the One (M8) is also universally praised for its outstanding design (many, us included, are disappointed by the camera, but overall, it’s a great phone). However, HTC just could not get the sales it needs - within the first two months of availability of its flagships, it sold just 5 million units, while Samsung with the Galaxy S4 scored sales of 20 million in the same period.

Cher Wang has taken over HTC's marketing

Cher Wang has taken over HTC's marketing

That’s where Cher Wang comes in. “We just have to communicate well with our customers,” Wang said. “I believe if we can communicate better, we will do better.” Not much more in terms of change is needed, according to Wang, who got her Master’s degree in economics at University of California, Berkeley.

With first quarter sales slumping 23% from the previous year, one thing that everyone clearly sees right now is a mountain for HTC to climb ahead. We would not write it off that easily, though. With market cap of $4.5 billion and a strong presence on the hugely important US market, HTC’s volatile stock could also turn out to be a dream come true for investors willing to take the risk.

HTC's stock has dropped to bottom low levels on the Taipei exchange

HTC's stock has dropped to bottom low levels on the Taipei exchange


source: Bloomberg

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64 Comments

1. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

R.I.P HTC u did make some good phones but not enough, have fun with Blackberry on the other side

3. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

I really hope they are not taking the path of Blackberry... It would be sad to see the company who made the G1 to disappear XD

4. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

id be sad too but i think it isnt gonna end well for htc

47. Rager722

Posts: 622; Member since: Jan 30, 2013

Shut up troll.

53. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

shut up fanboy

7. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

LOL...You're pretending like you're the god that can control when the manufacturer must go down. How funny... But unfortunately, you're wrong. HTC and Blackberry is here to stay. Try thinking on the positive side.

10. wildhammer

Posts: 56; Member since: Mar 16, 2014

NOT GOOD ENOUGH?!??!!??!???!? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?? HTC MADE SOME EXCELLENT FONES AND THEY HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO BE RIGHT ON TOP OF THE CHAIN. HTC FTW!!!!

11. skyline88

Posts: 697; Member since: Jul 15, 2013

bye-bye, good night and sweet dream

15. Kuroki

Posts: 183; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

what are you going to do, capslock him to death?

27. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

they have potential and i said they made some good phones, every company has the potential to be great but only a few are truly great, look at samsung and dare i say it apple

28. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

I really think @apple4never tried to say was the HTC's sale just isn't doing well enough to pull itself out of red they have been seeing. Everyone knows they do make good phones, but the general consumers don't. They tend to go with what's popular out there like Apple and Samsung. Now LG is on the rise. However, I don't see HTC to throw in the towel anytime soon. They are going to stay and fight to the end.

30. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

finally someone got it !!!!!!!!!!!

36. wildhammer

Posts: 56; Member since: Mar 16, 2014

I hope the new desire fones make an impact.....

43. jdoee100

Posts: 334; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

HTC makes good phones, but Samsung makes better phones. Many people are saying marketing this and that. But, look at HTC's last quarter market share in Taiwan(HTC's home country), they weren't just behind Apple and Samsung, they were behind Sony as well(Sony is not really known for marketing). HTC's marketing is only a part of the problem, not the problem. At this point, HTC needs more than better marketing.

60. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

I can't agree with you there. HTC One M7 was voted the smartphone of the year. People who follows the latest new phones know that HTC makes great phone. However, the Sense 4 and before that was in the older HTC left a bad taste in general public's mouths and not a lot of people are going back to them just yet. Beside, Sony is a hot brand in Taiwan and it's just the way it is. It's hard for HTC to compete with Sony in their home country. It's just like Ford is being beat by Toyota and Honda in the U.S. Well... Ford had their share of making bad cars in the past... no wonder people don't really buy their cars now.

31. omaianu unregistered

They will NOT disappear. The M8 has sold very well and will continue to sell better. HTC will also be making the Nexus devices for Google. Things will turn around.

49. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

Been hearing that for the last 4 years! Not happening... One thing about being on the bottom is there's only going UP from there!

2. Galen20K

Posts: 568; Member since: Dec 26, 2008

Considering how tremendously build and running htc's current devices are, Marketing is definitely the area where they've been lacking and hurting them for years. Finally they're taking Public image and spreading the word seriously, wish they had years ago.

12. skyline88

Posts: 697; Member since: Jul 15, 2013

brilliant marketing but with hopeless camera, nonSENSE UI and thick bezel? good luck.

17. true1984

Posts: 864; Member since: May 23, 2012

what? sorry to tell you this but other than stock, sense is the best ui out there

22. Galen20K

Posts: 568; Member since: Dec 26, 2008

Absolutely everything about the m8 is Quality, Sense UI Screams and is the absolutely best skin out there. Heck even the photo's although 4MP, still have brilliant color temperature. Of course I can't convince some Samsung fans who prefer the laggy TouchWiz UI, terrible build/asthetics, and just terrible design. Good luck with all of that, I'll stick with the Brilliant htc design.

63. verty

Posts: 132; Member since: May 07, 2012

Deceive yourself for as long as you like. When you grow up and are ready to play with the bigboyz you can come out of the sheets.

57. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Yes so tremendous that people can go through 6 handsets and still have a rattling volume rocker or a dead pixel or both. http://forums.androidcentral.com/htc-one-m8/377719-htc-one-m8-your-volume-button-loose.html Believe it or not, the HTC One S and X, HTC 8x, and M7 had even more deal breaking issues. This is like their best effort and they still can't even do a perfect handset in one shot like LG, Samsung, and Apple can. That is their problem.

61. true1984

Posts: 864; Member since: May 23, 2012

peter chou must have beat you up when you were a kid or something...

62. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Nothing like that. If I can buy a Samsung flagship handset or tablet and have it come out perfect out of the box in the first shot 4/4 times. Apple 3/3 and LG 2/3 times. You know that is the norm. And if I can go 0/7 with HTC flagships.... well there is a simple explanation and it isn't coincidence. Mathematically that would be virtually impossible. The only logical conclusion is that HTC is garbage and nowhere near the level of quality their fans say they are.

5. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Boot CEO, Camera is a let down, again. Clearly too thick to see the forest for the trees. That's like third or fourth bad screw up since the OneX, which should be reborn as a new flagship.

6. nomalice

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 21, 2014

Bye Bye HTC, go back to the drawing board, rework your pricing strategy, selling different processors for same phone models in two different countries is unethical , also using lower cost processors but pricing phones at premium rates will not work in India, customers want more value for money and please no more ultra mega cams, rework the regular cams in your phone !!!

39. iushnt

Posts: 3062; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

as far as i know, exynos is expensive to make for samsung than SD

8. zuckerboy

Posts: 898; Member since: Dec 22, 2011

they should have put 8mp camera thats simple...

9. ryq24

Posts: 874; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Htc could start by coming out with affordable mid range phone with micro sd card slot .

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