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The knives are out for HTC CEO Peter Chou

Published Aug 21st, 2013 8:45AM EDT
HTC CEO Chou Criticism

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Earlier this year, many analysts expected HTC CEO Peter Chou to come under pressure to resign if the HTC One didn’t turn around the company’s fortunes. And with HTC still looking like a complete basket case, it seems that some HTC executives are starting to talk candidly about Chou’s failures to the press. Reuters has interviewed “a dozen former and current HTC executives” who say that Chou’s abrasive management style and stubborn refusal to listen to others has led to a dysfunctional and demoralized corporate culture. Most amazingly, some executives say that Chou refused to acknowledge and address problems with the company at senior executive meetings, which has often meant that flaws in the company’s strategy have often snowballed after going unfixed.

“There’s a culture in HTC not to discuss numbers at senior management meetings,” one former executive tells Reuters. “Those discussions tend to become hard or ugly, but if you don’t solve it, it becomes bigger.”

All that said, the executives say that they can’t imagine Chou stepping down on his own and they can’t see the board of directors ousting him because there’s no definite replacement lined up.

“Part of the weakness is there is no obvious successor, and that’s not been good for morale,” an HTC executive tells Reuters.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.