Aug 21st, 2013

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.

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