Late last week, The Verge heard that HTC just let go of 20% of their staff in the USA. After contacting HTC, the company released a statement confirming that layoffs did indeed happen, but no specific numbers were mentioned. First obvious question is which department saw the most cuts? Turns out that the cuts were spread pretty evenly across all the corporate structures. Next important question: Was anyone important fired? No one really knows at this point. The layoffs happened Friday afternoon, so it’s probably too early to tell.
Why is HTC in such bad shape? There are multiple theories out there, but most of them have a common thread: Peter Chou, the company’s CEO, can’t manage a company to save his life. He micro-manages employees, overworks them, doesn’t have a long term strategy, and focuses almost exclusively on the high-end market where HTC can obviously compete with Samsung on hardware, but not in terms of marketing spend.
Can HTC stop the bleeding? Historically speaking, when a phone maker starts experiencing decline, they never bounce back. I’d like to think that HTC, can, however, but they need to admit to themselves that they’re too fat. If they focused on hardware and let Google handle the software, then maybe they’d get somewhere. It just somehow feels pointless to me that HTC keeps an army of developers in their ranks to differentiate their Android experience from Samsung’s.
Screams waste of money, to me at least.