HTC CEO Peter Chou has been leading the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer for a decade and has had some great successes, including building the very first Android smartphone (the T-Mobile G1) and the wildly successful HTC EVO 4G on Sprint. However, given the company’s declining sales and profits, it is obvious that not all is well at HTC. And according to a recent report from Reuters, current and former HTC execs say that it is Chou’s management style that is causing HTC’s descent.
This shouldn’t come as a huge shock, given the recent mass exodus of HTC execs from the company, along with Chou flip-flopping on whether or not he will leave HTC (he now says he’s here for good). Reuter’s exclusive report does give us some additional insight into Chou, though, including an “abrasive management style and weak strategic vision” that twelve anonymous HTC execs say are causing HTC to lose the smartphone battle to Samsung and Apple:
After hiring a slew of foreign executives, he fell short on promises to senior staff to foster a more open culture and cede sufficient authority. He openly berated managers and overrode their decisions, often with little discussion.
Such an atmosphere, executives said, damaged morale and left managers uncertain of their roles. Chou kept his sales, product, marketing and design executives separate and, in some cases, created parallel teams doing the same thing. He didn’t hold meetings of executives of the different departments to iron out problems even as HTC’s performance wilted. “There’s a culture in HTC not to discuss numbers at senior management meetings,” said one former executive. “Those discussions tend to become hard or ugly, but if you don’t solve it, it becomes bigger.”
The entire article can be found below, but suffice it to say, working for Chou does not seem to be a walk in the park. Do you think it’s time for a leadership change at HTC?