“In survival mode”: the real drama going on at HTC is not about executives

by: Bogdan PetrovanMay 24, 2013

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A well-known insider of the Taiwanese tech industry talks about the quiet but dramatic talent hemorrhage that is going on at HTC.

This week brought some really bad news and some really good news about HTC. First, there were several reports about a string of high-profile executives leaving the embattled company. Some of the execs even went as far as to publicly urge remaining HTC employees to leave the company, saying that they’ll be “happier” elsewhere. This is a worrying and unusual situation for a company of this caliber.

The good news was that HTC has apparently sold almost five million units of the flagship HTC One, as reported by WSJ. But if the One sells so well, why would executives defect?

Sascha Pallenberg, the influential German tech blogger residing in Taiwan who runs MobileGeeks.de, has taken to Google Plus to offer his insight into what is going on with HTC. The short version – the leaving execs are not a major loss for HTC, but the numerous engineers and designers leaving the company are much harder to replace.

Pallenberg calls the situation at HTC “dramatic” and considers that the recent Apple-HTC patent licensing deal and the Facebook Home/HTC First collaboration were “desperate moves to secure and bring in some cash.” He goes on to say that he personally discussed with several former engineers that left HTC for Asus, Acer, or other companies, and that he heard third-party accounts about similar cases. Sadly for HTC, the loss of experienced staff can be more crippling than that of “suits”.

Pallenberg concludes his posting by saying that “HTC is in survival mode”.

We have no reason to doubt the accuracy of Sascha Pallenberg’s assertions. Earlier this year, we’ve heard reports about HTC cutting R&D budget and forcing staff to work overtime to make it up. A disgruntled engineer sent an open letter to CEO Peter Chou to complain about it. So it’s reasonable to expect that some of the disgruntled employees have left for sunnier shores.

HTC is in a crisis, there’s no denying it, and we just hope that brisk sales of the One will be enough to take the company out of the woods.

  • OMGgary

    The woods are full of bears and HTC looks like somebody that pissed off Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw and is now hopping away on their one remaining leg.

    • n900mixalot

      Oh wow.

    • Gilles LeBlanc

      Hahaha yea bears like the ones from south parks imagination land. HTC gonna get raped

  • Will there be any support or updates for the HTC one?
    I wanted it but now I don’t know .
    HTC EVO and EVO 3D bricks at least once a month
    pull the battery and you good .
    if and when the HTC one bricks
    Then what.

    • Jeff Fitzgerald

      You buy a GS4

    • Josh Johnson

      holding down the power for 10 seconds does a pull battery function. Doesn’t matter where you are in the phone it will turn it off. Bootloader, OS etc. I’ve had the phone completely lock up(hacking and messing around not standard use, it is very stable) but this always works

    • Matt V

      Oh so the evo and evo 3d “brick”.. and pulling the battery just magically fixes it huh.. You don’t know what brick means.