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It’s no secret by now that HTC is entering 2014 very differently then they entered 2013, with a poor year behind them, HTC will be looking for a fresh start indeed when the clock ticks into the new year. Not only has HTC had a financially dismal past 12 months but, they’ve also had to deal with more than their fair share of internal drama concerning executives and such. Thomas Chien (pictured above) is perhaps at the center of it all, bringing shame to HTC’s name and getting himself into some serious trouble.
Mr Chien was once a lead designer at HTC and has been responsible for some of their iconic designs in the past and, like many other executives this year he left HTC. However, unlike those other executives, he certainly didn’t walk away with his head held high. As Engadget is reporting, Chien was found to be leaking designs from within HTC to a group he was forming a new company with. The leaks were likely of Sense 6.0 and other software features to feature in upcoming flagships next year. We often think of leaks as great business, well at least for sites like ourselves but, trade secrets can be powerful assets and in the wrong hands can damage a company’s financials. A leaked device render here or there from @evleaks is one thing but, showing off your employer’s upcoming designs is a completely different and nefarious affair.
Chien’s associates also managed to come away with NT$33,566,000, roughly US$1.12 million in false expenses and rebates from suppliers, of which the majority was found in Mr Chien’s Audi. According to reports from the prosecutors, Mr Chien was one of the few responsible that admitted to any wrongdoing, staying defiant until the very end. Mr Chien has yet to be sentenced but, the court has been advised to lean heavily on Chien and his behavior, which could have damaged HTC much more than we all think. Hopefully this is now all behind HTC and 2014 will be very much a year when the former giant starts the difficult climb back up to the top of the mobile ladder once more.