HTC loses another key executive with the resignation of its COO

Another HTC top-level person is reported to have stepped down. According to Bloomberg, HTC Chief Operating Officer Matthew Costello has added his name to the growing list of executives who have chosen to leave the company. It’s incredible that half of the year has barely passed and already the Taiwanese based manufacturer has lost more than a handful of its key senior executives. A list which includes Asia CEO Lennard Hoornik, EMEA president Florian Seiche and Chief Product Officer Kouji Kodera.

In a letter obtained by Bloomberg, the company is said to be replacing Costello with president of engineering and operations Fred Liu. Liu will inherit a new, expanded role. This streak of management shakeups is a bit startling considering how good the HTC One has done in sales, as the device was recently announced to have sold five million units.

No one really knows what the hell is going on within HTC to cause these sudden departures. Lots of media outlets who have stayed close to this on going story have suggested there is an unhappiness with the direction of the company. However, with the success of its flagship device, the One, hopefully the company can find its footing and to turn this thing around.

[Bloomberg; via Android Central]


  • Roaduardo

    Would somebody buy them please? I keep saying Microsoft would be a great candidate to purchase this sinking ship and turn things around for them. HTC thought they were ready for prime time with the One but we can clearly see they are not.

    Their marketing cannot compete with Samsung or Apple. We’re talking about companies that manufacturer so many different kinds of things other than mobile phones. HTC has great phones which is why I think Microsoft would benefit from a manufacturing arm like these guys.

    • Daleos

      I’m not against a bigger company taking over but the last people I would want would be Microsoft or any of the current bunch of big name phone makers. I’m certainly not a Microsoft hater but they’ve been making some really stupid decisions lately, as have RIM and Nokia. I couldn’t trust any of them. Besides, I like HTC exactly because they’re not a mega corporation. They’re not trying to create an ‘ecosystem’ of their own so everything can be controlled from the mother company. Call me crazy but haven’t we had all this ecosystem crap before with AOL? Better to spread the love over a wider field.

      • Roaduardo

        Great points. I love spreading the love all over this mobile market but not at the expense of a company that makes great phones (HTC One). It’s great to admire a relatively ‘small’ mobile phone maker like HTC because it’s not some giant corporation but their size is one of the contributing factors to the current problems it’s experiencing.

        The serious managerial problems first and foremost. They have enough resources to design, manufacture and release a great product like the One but they don’t have the capital to invest in great marketing and distribution like Samsung does. Not saying they should emulate Samsung but they are one of their main rivals and you can’t fight a war without some big guns.

        Folks like LG, Samsung and Apple can afford to take more risks because of the number of different departments they have in house that sell other types of products. HTC’s main revenue is their phones, great phones at that but they’re faltering. Former execs tweeting to their former colleges advising them to leave as well is not a sign of a house in order.

        Regardless of some of the stumbles Microsoft has made along the way with its Surface tablets and Windows Mobile OS it has the financial clout and experience in managing large programs to help HTC get back in the fight.

        There should have been wider distribution of the One all over major North American carriers. They never should have gave AT&T the exclusive to its 64GB variant. Many people that were concerned with the lack of a Micro SD slot would have forgiven that if customers outside of AT&T would have had access to the 64GB model.

        The lack of marketing is hurting them. I can’t remember the last time I saw an advert for the HTC One of any of the other new models they’ve released this past quarter but I can tell you when I saw a Galaxy S4 one. Yesterday on 5 different websites.

        Good on them for the ‘Google Edition’ of the One but they need to hurry up and tighten their ship. Replace the execs they’ve lost and let go with people with superior management skills and who understand how to market their product better.

        I wish HTC the best.

        • Daleos

          I totally agree with the marketing point. They also really need to trim their range (or at least make the range obviously scalable) which I’m happy to see they are doing and they really ought to stop doing carrier exclusives.
          In the past they’ve also been guilty of making phones that are just about good enough for the OS but with no real scope for the OS to grow (not enough RAM or storage) or by being a little too stingy with the battery. This has led to the no-shows for OS updates on certain models. Alongside the lethargy of the carriers to bring out updates of their carrier specific models has given HTC a lot of bad publicity that they could have seen coming.
          Fortunately, they got it right with HTC One this time.
          They still need to learn that when designing for the masses, it’s good to make sure the people at the sharp end aren’t felt left out.
          Whilst the vast majority of people have no use for SD cards, removable batteries and stock models, the tech bloggers, journalists and geeks certainly do want those things and it’s their reviews, blogs, comments and recommendations that the normal folk will read. As such it’s vitally important to please this small section of the smartphone community because they do half the advertising for the device.

          • Roaduardo

            “even if they just skip to the conclusion or count the stars”

            Hehe, brilliant. I could have sworn I read a year ago HTC wanted to only focus on “flagship” devices. If that’s right then what was this Facebook One nonsense about then?

            What about an HTC One with Windows software? Of course with a minor hardware change.

  • Frank

    Out with the old and in with the new. Maybe it’s a good thing that these folks are resigning or getting fired. Either way, they were the same people that got HTC in this mess in the first place. Not liking the new direction implies that they want more of the same? I honestly hope HTC comes out of this stronger . Goodluck!

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