The news for HTC hasn’t been getting any better this year, and last year was more a year of survival than it was of turning things around. Peter Chou, the CEO of HTC, has often been criticized for not doing enough to bring the company back to its former glory and while may or may not be true, somebody else is stepping in to help. Co-Founder and Chairwoman, Cher Wang, is taking up day-to-day responsibilities in order to put HTC back on the straight and narrow. The extra help is certainly needed, as back in 2012 1 in 10 smartphones sold were from HTC, now it’s only 1 in 45. Their Taiwan shares have fallen over 70 percent since 2011 and they continue to be dominated by Apple and Samsung.
Peter Chou now has fewer responsibilities at the company, even though he’s not relinquishing his titles, and Wang will be doing more day-to-day in order to turn things around. How Wang says she’s going to do this is something we’ve heard before, saying the company needs to “communicate better” with consumers. Marketing for HTC has never been their strong suit and while we’ve heard good things as of later, such as the hiring of a former Samsung Marketing Mogul, we’ve yet to see any results.
Rather than replace Chou, or leave him with just a title, Wang’s renewed involvement at the company has given him time to focus on what he does best, with Chou saying that “Now Cher is 100 percent focused on marketing, customer service, so I don’t have to worry. I have a lot more time driving the product, quality, supply.” Chou’s resolve to quickly and effectively create products is legendary. It’s said that the Sensation XL was a device put together in a matter of a few months from concept to production. Having Chou focus on product is certainly not a bad thing after all, this year’s HTC One – which we recently reviewed – is a stunningly well-built device, with great software and features to boot.
Wang has been more active in the company since last Summer, and since then the stock has rebounded a little, but not by much. In fact, until HTC’s stock took a big hit, Wang was Taiwan’s richest woman, that’s no longer the case but, Wang isn’t resting on her laurels. Without a massive overhaul at the company, it sounds like Wang has cleaned up shop, targeting the right people at the right problems and it sounds like HTC might just be able to start the long climb back to the top under Wang’s guidance.