HTC execs say CEO is detrimental to success, but no one’s willing to do anything about it


A rather pleasant picture has been painted about Peter Chou over the years, but new reports out of Reuters suggest the grass isn’t green at all with HTC’s top brass. Upon interviewing 12 anonymous HTC executives, Reuters has learned that HTC CEO Peter Chou’s style of management and leadership isn’t well received at the company. In fact, they say Peter Chou is the reason for HTC’s sharp decline over the past couple of years, and think his obsessive style is actually detrimental to the company’s success.

Sources say Peter Chou has been rather stubborn and unwilling to do what it takes to set the company up for long-term success. It’s said that, once upon a time, HTC could draw up plans for a hit smartphone and have it go from concept to retail in just a quarter of a year. This was apparently HTC’s strength in the early going, with little competition within an exploding smartphone market.


But things started changing. Innovation became more key than ever, and new product categories were being introduced that HTC wasn’t prepared to take advantage of (their failure to compete in the tablet market is enough evidence).

The Taiwanese company apparently couldn’t capitalize on new advancements in technology because their operation was predicated on being fast and first, rather than taking their time to feel things out and spend the time necessary for research.

Along with that, it’s said Chou is quite territorial and close-minded. The CEO would shoot down ideas, override decisions from his underlings, and wouldn’t even hold regular meetings with the joint chiefs or executive vice presidents.

And if you were wondering why HTC always seems to act like things are just peachy even when they’re not, it’s because the CEO rarely liked to discuss numbers.

Will HTC do anything about it?

If all of this is true, you have to wonder if HTC has a plan to bring Peter Chou down a bit. According to Reuters, that’s not likely to happen. There are a couple of fears to note:

  1. There is no internal employee suitable enough to replace Chou. The company would probably be even worse off without him.
  2. Despite his destructive ways, it’s evident that Chou is the heart of HTC, and no one can come up with a blockbuster device like he can.

If those things are true, HTC has found themselves in one of the toughest situations there are — a bitter-sweet one. Chou had a heavy hand in things like the Beats initiative and getting Robert Downey Jr. on-board, both of which were very big moves for the company.

But if the passionate CEO ever hopes to keep the company afloat and change HTC’s sour fortunes as of late, then he has to be willing to run the company with a degree of sensibility and openness. Be willing to listen to your employees. Streamline the structure of management. Have everyone working together to create waves across all facets of the company.

If any of this is true, we plead to the head honcho to turn things around, because a smartphone market with one less major competitor is one that’s going to suffer tremendously in the key area that is innovation.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Oh man, HTC is on a slippery slope. I just hope they can get it together and recover. It will be a sad day for the industry as a whole if HTC can’t pull out of this slump. Come on HTC! Like a Phoenix, you must rise from the ashes!!!

  2. Wish hTC the best. I still want more competition in the smartphone’s world.

  3. my favorite so far, Here’s The Crap lol that ad is stuck in my head now lol

  4. I always get so much hate in the comments when I point out what a terrible company HTC is, but all evidence backs up my claims.

    1. people hate to hear the truth sometimes.

    2. HTC is a terrible company because 12 anonymous executives say they don’t like Peter Chou? Lol okay…

      Seems to me like HTC should do some more “reconstruction” of executives as they did not so long ago, to sure HTC is a “good” company again by getting rid of those 12. If they really think that Chou is the problem, fire him, hire someone else if no one else in the company is fit to lead. But I’m definitely not seeing that.

        1. I’m copying this from a previous comment I’ve made.

          …HTC only makes phones and a few other gadgets that go along with it. Look at Sony or Motorola. Their phone sales aren’t close to that of HTC’s, yet you do not hear them having any trouble with sales. That’s because they got a viable business of selling/producing other electronics to back up their mobile industry. The same reason goes with Samsung, making them way too big to fail.

          1. Every analyst rips apart Google’s purchase of Moto. Your facts are wrong. This is the first quarter that HTC was actually in the RED, whereas Moto has been operating in the RED for a long time.

            If you can’t read simple financial reports please let the big boys talk and you go play some angry birds. Thanks.

          2. Thanks for not making sense

          3. In what way? I’ll explain if you’re lost.

          4. “Every analyst rips apart Google’s purchase of Moto. Your facts are wrong. This is the first quarter that HTC was actually in the RED, whereas Moto has been operating in the RED for a long time.”

            Not sure what you’re trying to get at here

          5. ” Look at Sony or Motorola. Their phone sales aren’t close to that of HTC’s, yet you do not hear them having any trouble with sales.”

            That claim about Moto is false. Their business was deep in the red. I assume that Google Glass sales may turn that around. That’s all. I was correcting your false assumptions.

          6. Oh I see, yeah you’re right. Thanks for correcting me

          7. David, I like you. We shall meet again in the comment section.

          8. Lol I suspect we will

          9. Kudos for giving up, he would have kept you going for hours. Takes an intelligent person to realize youre dealing with an idiot and stop trying to convince them theyre wrong. Hipsters are quite dumb.

          10. How would Google Glass sales turn around Motorolla ? Motorolla doesnt make Glass and is not even involved with Glass. Now we know youre talking out of you ignorant ass.

          11. They will be. They will be selling custom colors/styles like the Moto X out of Texas.

          12. Also, Sony stock is plunging hard. No idea about their cell phone sales, but their other businesses aren’t propping anything up.

          13. Stocks rise and fall based on many things, least of which is sales. When word got out that Apple lost the global market share to Android their stock sunk enormously. It has nothing to do with actual sales , stock prices are all perception of a company. Sony still produces quality TVs and Stereo Systems, probably the best in the world.

      1. You may have also missed the article about Beats trying to buy themselves away from a loser company, etc. Really? you have your head in the sand, bro. Enjoy your “sense”.

        1. What’s wrong with Beats trying to buy back their share from HTC? It doesn’t mean that they want to drop HTC altogether, it means that as a company, they want to own 100% of it. Also, once they own 100% of their own company, wouldn’t you think it would be profitable to continue their relationship with HTC by continuing to provide Beats “technology” for a royalty fee?

          IT DOES NOT MEAN that HTC is a bad company.
          Please don’t let your Sammy Fanboy side come out in your opinions… By trying to find faults with any company in order to praise what you think is best.

          1. I don’t know where this Samsung thing is coming from. I have nothing to do with them nor do I own any of their products.

          2. Oh I assumed that you’re a Samsung fanboy, since you talk like one.
            Sorry about that.

          3. Apology accepted. Anyone that is fanboy of a brand is an idiot, honestly.

          4. the same could be said about haters. Companies turn them selves around all the time (for better and for worse). Qualcomm used to make half assed processors no? Ford used to be good then sucked then was good again. These things happen.

          5. Sure they do. But it doesn’t seem like this company will. It’s a sinking a ship.

            And I guess those 12 people that actually WORK for the company are haters. And i guess furious stock holders that lost 1/2 of their value in the last year are haters.

          6. you seem to be confused about the difference between someone who hates on every product a company produces despite how well it is received and someone who doesn’t like where their management is heading.

            There are people who work at wal-mart who hate their managers… does that mean the company is going bankrupt in a few months?

          7. Nope. Not confused at all. There is a huge difference between someone at a retail walmart (a successful company) complaining and corporate executives at a sinking company complaining.

          8. you are confused.. just because a company is struggling doesn’t mean the product is crap. Unless you think HTC secretly paid off every single tech blog on the internet.

          9. They are haters if they are not happy with the way the company is going, yet wont do or say anything.

        2. Good one

    3. you get hate because you say every HTC device sucks despite it often winning “best smartphone” awards from numerous outlets

      1. Did their 3D phone win best device or the thunderbolt? Or overheating Rezound? or…?

        Trash phones, bro.

        1. So I can say the Galaxy s4 and Note 3 suck and Samsung is a crap company because the Samsung instinct and the memo and galaxy R are trash phones? Are you an idiot because you got a D on an English paper in 4th grade? And is your wife unattractive because your girlfriend from high-school was ugly?

          1. You can say whatever you want, but I have the numbers to back up my claims. One company is winning and “One” is losing.

          2. Yes, but just because one Company is more successful than another doesn’t mean the struggling company is currently putting out “crap devices.” I’m not really sure where you got your business degree, but that isnt really how it works.

          3. You have to make products that customers want. Business 101. HTC is failing at doing that.

          4. So creating one of the best if not the best smartphone for each of the past 2 years is something that HTC shouldn’t be doing?

          5. And ignore the low end and mid-tier markets? Yeah, they should definitely not being doing that. Did you read the article above? Are you trying to say that HTC is making good decisions? i’m confused about your point.

            They made a high end phone. Great. It sold OK. They have ignored the rest of the market and are getting spanked.

          6. Last year they made low and mid-end devices and everyone bashed them for it. So now you want them to make low and mid end devices? Ok, isn’t that what the One-mini is supposed to be, mid tier… in either case that has nothing to do with anything i was saying.

            You are confused about my point because you seem to bounce to a new point whenever you have no comeback for my argument.

            You said you don’t understand why you get hate in your comments… and I said it’s because you blindly and non-objectively bash every product HTC produces regardless of how good the phone is. (case in point: HTC One)

            Then you go on a tangent and naming devices HTC has made over 2 years ago as if that means that HTC’s current offerings are no good. I told you that makes little sense and the argument spiraled in a different direction.

            That is why you got confused about my point sir.

          7. Ah, i see. I guess I’ll just accept your hate then.

            HTC will probably be bought in the next year and hopefully the will turn it around.

          8. The ONE is described everywhere as “the best smartphone ever made” and is selling like hotcakes. How is it “losing” ? Of course Samsung is going to sell more, theyre more along the lines of Apple right now, their marketing is strong and marketing gets idiots to buy anything. If HTC’s marketing was stronger, they would be beating or at least equaling Samsung in sales. Bringing in Downey is part of that plan. HTC’s phones are high quality. If you like Samsung, thats fine, dont hate on HTC.

          9. Samsung? Gross. Not a fan of disgusting skins.

            And “best smartphone ever” and “selling like hotcakes” are pretty subjective.

            The HTC one’s body shows scratches really easily, isn’t really seamless, etc. Pretty mediocre phone if you ask me.

          10. Obviously never picked up or used a ONE. Does not scratch easily and IS seamless. I see you as someone that READS the negative posts about a phone and then act like you know what youre talking about. Lets see, dont like Samsung, Dont like HTC…..iPhone sheep ?

          11. I have picked it up. There was an edge that actually felt like it would cut my finger. Very unimpressive construction. Might be ok with a case, though.

        2. Uh, HTC One?

          1. Trash camera, huge bezels.

  5. HTC has been bringing the same or similar design to the table with the exception of aluminum body and the front speakers for the last few years, people want different things, big, small, phablet etc. Some folks like rounded edges (S4), some like squarish edges (Xperia Z) HTC must cover all the tastes to sell as many devices. Just look at Samsung…Diversification

    1. Lol I really don’t want HTC do go down Samsung’s route of “diversification.” In total, Samsung has 26 “Galaxy” branded devices globally, and in my opinion, that’s far too much (

      I actually like HTC’s plan; to have the HTC One, HTC One mini, and the HTC One Max. Those plus a few other phones to cover other countries, should be good enough. The problem doesn’t lie with HTC failure to release more phones. As Quentyn said, they should have made tablets, and Chou should have been gone a while ago.

      1. So wait..let me get this straight… You LIKE HTC’s plan, yet you think Chou should have been gone? Wow…what?

        Contradict yourself much?

        1. I like HTC’s plan on the amount of phones to release? Yes. Do I want Chou gone? He should have been gone last year honestly.
          Don’t twist my words to favor your own.

          1. But above you said the 12 executive should be gone and Chou is a scapegoat. i’m not twisting anything. You’re all over the place.

            Time to get a Windows phone for you, bro.

          2. Are you referring to the comment I made about what you posted? If you don’t know my style by now, I like to take the logic from OP and apply it to what I say to their comment. (AKA, I’m saying you’re full of it.)

            If you think that anonymous executives saying they are not in support of their CEO is the reason why a company sucks, then you don’t know half of whats going on the corporate world.

          3. LOL WHAT?

            • an hour ago−

            Honestly if so many say that Chou is the problem, but are not willing to do anything about it, then they are probably using Chou as a scapegoat for their own shortcomings in profits that they obviously had a hand in.”

            You made that comment in your own thread. Not in response to me.

          4. Oh k, wasn’t sure of what you were referring to since we had a long chat.
            I didn’t say that they should be gone, rather that they are using Chou as a scapegoat for their own failures. As executives of a company, if that company is losing profits, then wouldn’t it be their fault?
            That is why I said that they are using Chou as a scapegoat for their own failures

          5. Lots of thick headed idiots here today. Makes no sense trying to talk reason. Stubborn people are going to believe what theyre going to believe.

          6. Thanks, yankeesrule. I agree. They just have to read the above article, check financial reports, etc to see how bad things really are for HTC. No idea why these thick headed idiots are making stuff up. Cheers, buddy.

        2. Troll much?

        3. The description on your Disqus account says “Overall OK guy”. Can you provide any references that can back that up?

      2. HTC made tablets, charged too much for them, and they didn’t sell.

    2. Up until last year, the prevailing wisdom was that diversification of handsets was what was killing HTC, and they needed to make fewer models and concentrate on quality.

      The wheel turns slowly, but it turns.

      1. The wheel weaves as the wheel wills

        1. Truly, the pattern of the ages.

  6. If HTC would push out timely updates to their older phones like Samsung does I would still be with them to this day, but the fact that the S2 is running a Jellybean Samsung rom shows who keeps their customers happy while my old Evo 4G was stuck on gingerbread.

    1. Evo 4g and the S2 weren’t even released the same year

      1. You’re missing the point of what I’m saying, Samsung supports their older phones while HTC doesn’t, the year they came out is irrelevant to what I’m saying.

        1. The year is pretty relevant – nothing is supported forever.

          The Epic 4G (Sprint version of the SGS), same release timeframe (2010) as the original Evo, is also supported only to Gingerbread. After disasters, Sprint stopped supporting subsequent updates.

          Samsung is better at updates than HTC, no question – but the year kinda matters for everyone.

          1. Are you really reading what I’m saying, Samsung supports their older phones while HTC doesn’t, that’s why the year is irrelevant my statement is about HTC not supporting their phones, let’s just see if The “One” gets upgraded past Key Lime Pie, I’m pretty sure my Note 2 will with the current trend Samsung has going to keep your phone up to date for your entire contract period.

          2. Yeah, I’m really reading what you’re saying. :-D

            You said Samsung supported their older devices while HTC does not.

            You then used a 2010 HTC model as proof – when Samsung isn’t supporting their 2010 model either.

            I already agreed with you that Samsung is better than HTC at updating.

            But using a 2010 phone for proof – when no one is updating any 2010 phones and Samsung did no better than HTC or Google – they all stopped support at Gingerbread – only proves that you compared apples and oranges.

          3. Hes not getting it, its akin to beating your head against a dumb wall. Some people are too stubborn and dumb to understand facts.

        2. I get your point i’m just saying for future analogies it’s not that irrelevant simply because that isnt a fair comparison.. No device is supported forever so you cant compare two devices launched different years. The year the came out is very relevant. That’s like saying “see the my droid DNA is getting 4.3 but your Galaxy s1 isnt… so samsung doesnt support older devices. “

          1. See my comment to EarlyMon

          2. yes and its the same as your first statement. But i’m saying that argument is very year specific, because the Evo 4g did get 2 updates to froyo and gingerbread in its life time and was already 2 and a half years old when jelly bean was released. The S2 was only a year old when jelly bean was released. That’s why it matters.

            Because i could turn around say HTC has a better track record than Samsung because the One X got the jelly bean but the Galaxy S1 never got the jelly bean update so HTC is better with updates…

            Do you see what I’m saying?

          3. Lol, very true but i think Mark is kind of slow. Youre going to be beating your facts against a stubborn opinionated wall.

        3. I’m sure the x+ will be cable and will receive 4.3 maybe next year but still will get it

    2. That has got to be THE dumbest comparison I’ve ever heard to “prove” a point. Of course the newer phone would get a more recent OS update.

    3. The Evo 4G was released the same year as the Galaxy S…. the first one. Both of them got the android 2.3 update and stopped there.

  7. +5 insightful on this article Quentyn.

    1. The problem is – what can the subordinates do? Heck by anonymously telling the media what they did, they’re probably risking their careers as is (since there’s only a handful of execs).

      HTC is suffering from a leadership deficit. There’s no visionary. Nobody with a roadmap to recovery. They’re reactionary. Sporadic. They may have some internal strengths, but it’s not being used in a way to recover. But the question remains, who can stand up to Chou? Who can say, Mr. CEO, you’re part of the problem and you need to step down for the good of the company? And who will be the inspiring replacement?

  8. HTC must mean Hang the Chou.
    To bad HTC is a great company and never had a problem with the HTC phone.

    1. ahahahahaha

    2. HTC phones make up 90% of our warranty issues. I myself have owned many HTC phones. Every one of them had major hardware defects.

  9. Executive meeting: “Alright which one of you motherf**kers has been talking sh*t about me to Reuters?”

    1. LMAO!!! They need a coup d’etat.

  10. Honestly if so many say that Chou is the problem, but are not willing to do anything about it, then they are probably using Chou as a scapegoat for their own shortcomings in profits that they obviously had a hand in.

    Also, HTC only makes phones and a few other gadgets that go along with it. Look at Sony or Motorola. Their phone sales aren’t close to that of HTC’s, yet you do not hear them having any trouble with sales. That’s because they got a viable business of selling/producing other electronics to back up their mobile industry. The same reason goes with Samsung, making them way too big to fail.

    The solution to HTC’s problem? Better media coverage, make a darn tablet, and swifter updates in the US (I know that the carriers have a huge part in this, but HTC could still be faster), and keep innovating as they did with the HTC One.

    1. Yeah, but one misstep with a tablet (as they’ve made before), and they are toast. They can’t afford to bomb on a tablet, and history shows that they will. Sense only looks good on phones.

    2. HTC TRIED to move into other electronics with Beats and Beats wanted out of that partnership so badly that they bought their own shares back.

      You could tell HTC was garbage all the way back to the Droid Eris which was on 1.6 when everyone else was on 2.1+.

      1. Beats did not buy their shares yet. And no, HTC did not TRY to mvoe into electronics by partnering with Beats… That does not make sense, because Beats don’t manufacture anything.

        If you think HTC was garbage back when Android was barely out of its shell, then you shouldn’t be here talking on forums like this, cause your opinions are bias and unwelcome.

        Isn’t there a Samsung circle-jerk elsewhere?

        1. “circle-jerk”? Keep your sick perversions off of this thread. I don’t even like Samsung.

          And yes, Beats DID.

          And my “opinions” are factual, backed up my numbers.

          1. Congrats, you’ve labeled yourself as a moron. They haven’t bought their shares yet. Even says it in the title.
            “Beats said to be looking to buy remaining shares…”

            You take facts and twist it to make your argument. Perfect for journalism, not welcome here.

          2. Right, they already bought back the majority stake. Why are you calling me names?

          3. because you’re ignorant?

      2. Get your facts straight. The Droid Eris came out two months before the first Android 2.1 device – the HTC Nexus One. The Motorola Droid came out at the same time as the Droid Eris and was the only Android 2.0 device. All other devices were 1.6 or lower.

        1. The Motorola Droid came out inNovember 2009. The Eris came out in April 2010.

          1. Wrong! Droid Eris came out November 2009, as well. I saw it at Verizon the day the Motorola Droid came out. The HTC Droid Incredible came out April 2010.


    3. Aye bruh, from what I can tell it is carriers doing here in the state’s, I mean look at the one x getting 4.2.2 in other countries not here in the u.s. I think there timing is pretty decent, but its rhw barriers we have to cross here that pissed me off, I have a one x+ I feel I should have gotten my update before the regular one x across seas

    4. My friend, thats not how things work in the real world. When a company like HTC struggles ( for the past couple of years) you need to get rid of the CEO and try new methods cause obviously the old ones aren’t working.

    5. “Look at Sony or Motorola. Their phone sales aren’t close to that of
      HTC’s, yet you do not hear them having any trouble with sales.”

      Wasnt motorola sold off to google because it was unprofitable, and Sony continues loosing money on its mobile devices so much so it had to buy out erickson so they could make better products.

  11. “12 anonymous executives” Sounds like that could be the whole board of directors. I think its disrespectful in Taiwan or wherever theyre from to oppose your superiors publicly. I do find it weird that no one else in the company could replace him, unless hes been hoarding all the knowledge himself though. No matter, I still love HTC, hope they get their scrap straight.

  12. Didn’t Peter Chou say before that if the “One” wasn’t a success this year that he would leave the company?

    1. what counts as success?

      1. not where it is right now

  13. I hear Jon Rubinstein is available.

  14. I just cannot understand how this man was able to keep his job, he should have resigned ages ago.

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      I always get so much hate in the comments when I point out what a terrible company HTC is, but all evidence backs up my claims.

  15. Quite frankly I think if Peter Chou deserves the criticism, and if he does indeed govern with a heavy hand, then he also deserves credit for the good he’s done as well.

    I’ve always thought HTC were excellent at design. They made appealing devices that look good, and are mostly durable (for a smartphone) and made with excellent materials.

    Where have they gone wrong? Well first there’s the underwhelming specs. HTC seems to get one great feature, but then everything else suffers. It seems that with the One, and a few other select handsets, they have been changing that paradigm, but they can still improve. Another place they could do better is in the updates department. They seem to have trouble rolling out new updates in a timely fashion. I still remember when my Droid Incredible was supposed to be updated over the summer a year+ ago and when the time came they delayed it further because of bugs.

    Do I still like HTC? Absolutely, and I would consider getting the One, or other HTC devices in the future. But just like any of the other big OEMs they still have a lot to work on.

    1. Such a great response, I really do like my HTC One, but feel Android side of things continues to be nothing but a spec war, between its fans and a race to get what ever new decimal point android system update falls under.

      1. Quite frankly I couldn’t care less if HTC has the number one spot on the spec war list. I just want it to work, and work well. Give me a good camera (regardless of megapixels), a decent battery life, and plenty of storage, and mostly I’d be the happiest customer on the planet. Of coarse I don’t think they should skimp on the processor or the RAM either, but as long as it’s snappy do I really care if it has an 8 core processor with 20 GB of RAM? Not really. Just don’t make it suck.

        The places where I’ve felt HTC needs to improve to really stand out is 1) make it with a better battery, take a page out of Motorola’s book and deliver groundbreaking battery performance. 2) They need to get with it on the storage front. Most smartphones come with too little storage in my opinion, especially as many have nixed the SD card, and even the ones who do offer an SD card slot can’t really use their full potential as Google crippled SD card support with all Android versions ICS and greater. So storage, give me more than 8GB that will be gone in a couple of hours.

        Other than that I’ve felt HTC does well on the processor and RAM fronts. At least they keep it running good for the most part. I’m not a huge fan of Sense UI anymore, I used to be before Android 4.0, but now I’m diffing the stock experience. But I’m okay with the toned down Sense UI on the One.

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