HTC CEO's Memo: We're Coming Back With a Vengeance
August 15, 2012 12:27 PM
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Chief instructs employees not to concern themselves with "noises" from the media
"Do not be influenced by noises from the market and the industry. We are a strong player in the market and we are just having short-term challenges," Peter Chou writes in a memo to his employees,
The Wall Street Journal
, "Please make sure that we kill bureaucracy. Make sure [that] we are doing the right thing quick and make it work."
I. Down, But Not Out
Peter Chou has been involved with HTC Corp. (
) since its earliest days, when it was founded in Taiwan as largely a company that high-profile foreign firms like Hewlett-Packard Comp. (
) contracted to produce their designs. Mr. Chou was there for HTC's meteoric rise in 2009, as the firm became a household name with its
self-branded Android smartphones
. And he has been there as that growth has stalled, leading many analysts to issue dire warnings.
Mr. Chou writes, "HTC used to be a company where we did things quick and reacted quick. However, the fast growth from the last 2 years has slowed us down. We agreed to do something, but we either didn't do it, or executed it loosely."
Indeed HTC's woes come largely at the hands of South Korean Android phonemaker Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
and Californian phonemaker Apple
, Inc. (
HTC CEO Peter Chou rallied his troops in an email telling them it's not to late to come back from the cliff. [Image Source: Android and Me]
HTC's losses late last year have been turned into profits early this year, and HTC's new phone lineup like the One S and
have drawn generally positive reviews. But the company's recovery has
fallen short of analyst predictions
, leading to more concern.
II. The Plan Ahead
Europe, South America, and much of Asia, HTC is looking to
focus on the Chinese market
-- a market currently dominated by Samsung, but one in which HTC has gained ground over the last year.
HTC aims to expand its Chinese presence this year. [Image Source: Cult of Mac]
America is still critical to business for HTC, though, which in 2011
briefly topped U.S. smartphone sales charts
. Mr. Chou's memo was in English, as are most of his emails to employees -- a practice that's considered unusual by Taiwanese business standards, according to
The Wall Street Journal
Some believe HTC is at risk of a takeover bid, having grown too fast and then stumbled. But despite seeing its global market share fall in half since last year, and by 50 percent since the start of this year, Mr. Chou is determined that an independent HTC will be back with a vengeance.
While talk and action are separate creatures, it's nice to at least see a chief executive of a struggling firm both acknowledging the reality of their situation, while also pushing employees to work harder to turn things around. That approach is quite different from the incompetent management of certain other phonemakers like Research in Motion, Ltd. (
) whose leadership have
nothing is wrong
amid the collapse of their business. Acceptance of reality is the first step to recovery, and HTC's CEO is giving his employees a dose of that reality, while pushing them in a positive direction.
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RE: Android to blame.
8/15/2012 2:58:21 PM
You know, I am curious to see how the consumer market reacts to Windows (Phone) 8, in a sense I haven't seen anyone bring up before. Do consumers want their devices to be scaled all with the same OS (basically) and look, or do they want a phone that is markedly different from a desktop?
For me, I want my phone to be its own device, it's own "thing", not a mini desktop. That's one of the subconscious allures of Android/iOS (though I personally don't like iOS at a conscious level), as it's something different and brings differentiation. If I looked at my phone and then looked at my tablet then looked at my desktop and saw the exact same Metro, I think I would feel "saturated" -- too much of the same thing on different things.
On the other hand, maybe unification is really the most alluring, as it's "all-in-one".
Whatever the case, I really want to see how WP8/W8 works out just to see which way this hypothesis goes. In the meantime, the data seems to suggest that people love Android, love having a level of differentiation between their devices, and HTC like many other companies are well entrenched in this very large, dominant market.
RE: Android to blame.
8/15/2012 6:12:39 PM
My guess... WP8 will be a really good OS and get great reviews. It will have some awesome phones available for it and it still wont sell like Android or Apple. If it hits 10% marketshare I will be amazed.
"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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