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September 26, 2017

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HTC upbeat on Q2 amid leadership reshuffle rumor

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- HTC Co. (宏達電) yesterday expressed an upbeat outlook on its second quarter performance results while remaining mum on a rumored leadership reshuffle.

According to the CNA, the company declined to comment on a report suggesting that a current executive, Edward Wang (王文淵), has been appointed to take the position of interim chief financial officer, taking Chang Chia-lin's (張嘉臨) place, so that Chang can dedicate more of his time as HTC's president of global sales. Wang previously served as HTC's vice president of finance and accounting.

Six Executives Out Since 2011

In an email, HTC told the CNA that Chang will remain the company's CFO "until a transition of responsibilities makes sense."

Following 10 consecutive quarters of lagging performance in the past three years, the company lost at least six high-ranking executives and managers, including Huang Wen-tsai (黃文采), who left after a four-month stint.

Most notably, Scott Croyle, the designer behind two iterations of the company's acclaimed One flagship smartphones, announced that he is leaving HTC. Croyle will remain involved with the company in a consultancy capacity as final projects wind down, according to reports.

Reports indicate that Jonah Becker, Croyle's second-in-command, will lead HTC's San Francisco-based design studio. In addition, HTC's Drew Bamford has been promoted from heading the company's Sense user interface and experience design to take charge of all software services. Bamford will report directly to company CEO Peter Chou (周永明) following the change, according to reports.

HTC M8 Supply to Peak in April

Meanwhile, the company is expecting a rebound from its lackluster first-quarter results, which yielded operating losses of NT$2.05 billion following the launch of the HTC One (M8) flagship handset and the mid-range Desire 816 model, as shipping volume for the products ramp up over April. With the Desire 816 receiving a warm welcome in the China market, institutional investors said that the company's performance may see quarter-on-quarter improvement ranging between 40 to 70 percent.

The company also announced that it will be launching three smartphone models in India in May, catering to a wide variety of consumer groups, a move expected to pad its performance in the second quarter.

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