The Verge has learned that several key HTC employees have left the company. Kouji Kodera, the company’s Chief Product Officer, left last week. Jason Gordon, Vice President of Global Communications, is gone; as is Rebecca Rowland, Head of Global Retail; John Starkweather, Head of Digital Marketing; and Eric Lin, Product Strategy Manager.
To all my friends still at @htc – just quit. leave now. it’s tough to do, but you’ll be so much happier, I swear.
— eric L (@ericlin) May 20, 2013
After nearly 7yrs at HTC, my last day was Friday. I’ve worked with some amazing people and I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished.
— Jason Gordon (@jasongordonhk) May 20, 2013
This is obviously terrible news. The Verge claims HTC developed the First, the Facebook phone, under the assumption that Facebook Home would be released at a later date. Unfortunately, Facebook launched Facebook Home on the same day as the HTC First hit the market. The site also claims that people told HTC’s CEO, Peter Chou, that the HTC One would be difficult to manufacture and might face delays several months before the device was actually announced. That seems rather prophetic given the One’s current situation.
Can HTC turn things around? Earlier this year I would’ve said “maybe”. Now I’m just going to say no.
Update: This just showed up on C|Net Asia: “CNET Asia has gotten confirmation from a spokesperson that HTC Asia’s CEO Lennard Hoornik has also left, after an absence of two months during which he was ‘on leave’.”
Another update: HTC just issued the following statement to Slashgear:
“HTC can confirm that Jason Gordon has left the company. We appreciate his contributions in the past several years and wish him well on his future endeavors. HTC continues to invest in talent and recruitment as part of our broader human resources strategy to ensure the continued strength of our company’s organizational structure.
Kouji Kodera has left HTC to pursue other interests. We appreciate his contributions and wish him all the best. Scott Croyle will take over his duties.”
One more update: Engadget says “Head of Global Digital Service Elizabeth Griffin will also be leaving HTC later this week to join Nintendo.”
Ugh, one more time: “We’ve learned at TechCrunch that HTC Senior Vice President of Global Marketing Greg Fisher departed the company just a few short months ago to Amazon.”