We are still seeing chatter about a Verizon Wireless branded HTC One and about how handset production is set to increase to meet the strong demand, but on the other hand it is getting harder and harder to look the other way. By that other way, we are talking about all the HTC employees that seem to be leaving. Well, that and the bit about the HTC First price slashing that AT&T has recently done. Basically, things aren't looking all that good for HTC at the moment.
The most recent drop off was the CEO of the HTC Asia division. HTC has since confirmed that Lennard Hoornik has left the company. HTC has yet to specify any reason for the departure, however this news comes after Hoornik spent the previous two months "on leave." Before HTC, Hoornik was with Sony Ericsson for a little more than two years. Aside from Hoornik, HTC has also lost several others.
There was the recent departure of VP of global communications Jason Gordon as well as Kouki Kodera who was the Chief Product Office in charge of HTC's product strategy. Other recent and notable departures include global retail marketing manager Rebecca Rowland who left in April after spending more than four and a half years with HTC as well as worldwide director of digital marketing John Starkweather.
Eric Lin, who had previously been a product manager with HTC has also made a move. Lin has joined Microsoft and is working on the Skype team. The interesting bit with Lin, he doesn't seem to be holding everything back and has recently taken to Twitter in an effort to reach out to his former co-workers.
To all my friends still at @HTC - just quit. leave now. it’s tough to do, but you’ll be so much happier, I swear.
We are still looking towards the HTC One to see what will be the eventual outcome, but it is hard to ignore the reviews, which have been rather positive. The other recent HTC release doesn't have the same positivity going for it though.
That other handset is the HTC First, which is available (for a low $0.99) with AT&T. At the moment there appears to be some controversy with Facebook. According to sources of The Verge, Facebook was expected to delay the launch of Facebook Home in the Play Store which would have given the HTC First an exclusivity period or sorts. As we saw, Facebook Home launched in the Play Store on the same day and those same sources have since called the First a "disaster." All said and done, regardless of the reasons, it looks like HTC still has quite a bit to overcome.
[Update] It looks like we now have some statements from HTC. There are three in total and they cover the departures of Jason Gordon, Kouji Kodera and Lennard Hoornik.
“HTC can confirm that Jason Gordon has left the company. We appreciate his contributions in the past several years and wish him well on his future endeavors. HTC continues to invest in talent and recruitment as part of our broader human resources strategy to ensure the continued strength of our company’s organizational structure.”
“Kouji Kodera has left HTC to pursue other interests. We appreciate his contributions and wish him all the best. Scott Croyle will take over his duties.”
“HTC can confirm that Lennard Hoornik has left HTC to pursue other interests. We appreciate his contributions to our South Asia efforts over the past year and wish him all the best. HTC’s CFO, Chialin Chang will provide interim leadership in this strategic region while we work to find a permanent solution.”