A brain drain at a big tech company is never a good thing, and when a lot of that departing talent consists of high-level execs moving on in rapid succession it’s bound to look like curtains to outside observers. That appears to be the case at HTC, which is losing a lot of senior execs according to multiple reports today from The Verge, CNET and Engadget, and a source has pointed us to yet another recent high profile departure.
We’ve learned at TechCrunch that HTC Senior Vice President of Global Marketing Greg Fisher departed the company just a few short months ago to Amazon. Fisher is among a growing list of known execs leaving HTC, including people on both the product and marketing sides of the equation. What we’re hearing suggests that the company is facing a lot of internal turmoil and politics, which is frustrating employees across the board.
The Verge reported earlier today that HTC’s Chief Product Office Kouji Kodera has departed as of last week, which is a considerable staff shift given that Kodera probably spearheaded HTC’s recent line of critically well-received devices, including the HTC One X and this year’s HTC One. The company has also seen the departure of Global Communications VP Jason Gordon, Global Retail Marketing Manager Rebecca Rowland, digital marketing chief John Starkweather and Eric Lin, manager of product strategy with the past three months.
And when it rains it pours, as HTC Asia CEO Lennard Hoornik confirmed to have left today, and Elizabeth Griffin, the Head of Global Digital Service for the Taiwan-based smartphone maker also reportedly hopping into the lifeboat in favor of a position at Nintendo (out of the frying pan and into the fire?).
This sizeable outpouring of talent comes at a crucial juncture for HTC, as it has just launched the HTC One, a flagship that CEO Peter Chou has literally staked his job upon. Chou so far seems to be secure in his position at the company, but if this trend of executive departures, he could soon wind up on his own at the top. Chou is apparently not the man people would like to have in charge, however, as The Verge reports that he and his tendency to make snap decisions are what’s behind this outbound tide of senior staff.
The HTC One is reportedly selling at a decent pace after a slow start, but HTC’s other sizeable bet, the First which comes pre-loaded with Facebook Home, looks to be on life support at best, if not entirely discontinued already.
If HTC is bleeding from the head, it’s possible it’s bleeding from the body, too. We’ve seen evidence to suggest that could be the case in the past, and we’ve also heard that it’s not just senior people who are looking towards greener pastures. It’s unlikely that we’ve seen the end of these leavings, either, so in the meantime we’ll be watching to see who’s next into the lifeboats.