HTC’s Peter Chou discusses rumors, personnel issues, and how the company’s turning itself around


HTC has found itself in some tough times in the recent past, but the launch of the HTC One has really helped started getting the company back on its feet, and anticipated models like the One Mini and One Max should only help strengthen that recovery. Today we get a little bit of a behind-the-scenes look at what HTC’s been doing to effect this change, thanks to interviews with Peter Chou and other company employees.

Chou places some of the blame for HTC’s troubles on too great a focus on growth, and keeping up with that break-neck pace meant that too many important product decisions and opportunities to set a clear direction for the company were glossed over. That also led to some quality control issues, which the company is now trying its hardest to avoid repeating.

Employees talk about Chou’s reputation for last-minute product changes, and that there’s a common belief, if only in jest, that “a product’s not done until it’s sealed in the box.”

We also get to hear a couple of recent company rumors get addressed. For one, Chou denies ever claiming that he’d step down from his position should the One fail to be a great success, explaining, “I’m not going to find another job.” He also dismisses reports of an excess number of employees quitting over the past couple months, calling it “normal turnover” and noting, “some people have left, but many others have stayed, so I don’t think it’s a problem… there’s no need to freak out just because a few people have left.”

As for what it’s doing to help keep this new momentum going, Chou mentions the company’s increased focus on marketing, doubling its budget for promotion, and continuing to evaluate itself, trying to learn a little faster from its mistakes next time. As he remarked, “we’ve been working a long time to really understand what it takes for us to build a brand.”

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!