HTC CEO: Exec changes and “narrowed” focus are right for us

Chris Davies - Jun 5, 2013, 6:25am CDT
HTC CEO: Exec changes and “narrowed” focus are right for us

HTC CEO Peter Chou has insisted that the company is still on a solid track, despite the recent spate of high-profile exits from its leadership team. “Actions to streamline our business resulted in some reorganization and executive departures,” Chou conceded in a statement given to SlashGear this morning, “but initial sales of the One have validated our approach.” The comment follows some upturn in sales, though HTC is not out of the danger zone yet.

However, Chou and HTC declined to comment specifically on Chief Operating Officer Matthew Costello, the latest of those executive departures. Costello’s leaving was confirmed on Tuesday this week, after an internal email to HTC staff was leaked.

That same email also revealed the formation of a new quality control department, as well as a team that would be responsible for “product lifecycle matters”, and the executives that would be responsible for them. Costello, meanwhile, will move from Taiwan to Europe, where he will remain an “executive advisor” to the company.

“To achieve success, we’ve had to change when it was right for the business. Recently was one of those times. We took control of our business, narrowed our focus, and launched our new HTC One. Actions to streamline our business resulted in some reorganization and executive departures, but initial sales of the One have validated our approach. Response for our flagship device has been strong and demand has exceeded our expectations. We are confident that the business steps we have taken and continue to take are the right ones to lead to a strong resurgence of the HTC brand” Peter Chou, CEO, HTC

Chou’s confidence is perhaps not entirely misguided. HTC revealed its unaudited revenue figures for May this week, with an increase of around 50-percent month-on-month. April had similarly seen a rise on the previous month’s figures.

That bump in sales has been credited to the HTC One, the company’s metal-bodied flagship smartphone, which has been generally wowing reviewers. HTC had initially intended to have the One on sale by the end of Q1 2013 in over 80 countries, comfortably squeezing in ahead of the expected launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S 4.


However, supply chain issues – including problems around the custom UltraPixel lens the One uses – meant HTC simply could not meet demand, and the ambitious launch struggled. The manufacturing bottleneck only began to alleviate in late April, hence it taking until May before the One could make a significant dent.

After the One, though, there are at least two new variants expected to follow. The first is a smaller, more affordable version of the phone, believed to be the HTC One mini, while a larger model, with a screen size of over 5-inches, is also predicted.

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