Struggling phone maker HTC confirmed that a major reorganization is under way at its Bellevue-based North American headquarters, leading to major layoffs.
About 30 people have been laid off, or about a fifth of the company’s 150 employees in the area. The company continues to operate its U.S. headquarters in Factoria and a satellite software studio in Pioneer Square.
HTC has been a pioneering smartphone maker since it was founded in 1997, releasing the first Android phone, for instance. But it has been overtaken by Samsung at the higher end and other Asian manufacturers at the lower end. The company’s stock fell to eight-year lows this summer after the company said it sales would continue falling for an eight consecutive quarter
HTC issued a statement saying that today’s reduction in force “is a decisive action by HTC Corp. (U.S.) to streamline and optimize our organization and improve efficiencies after several years of aggressive growth.” It continued:
Realigning its human resources against key strategic initiatives will help HTC more effectively advance into a new stage of growth and innovation. This is a hard decision that has direct impact on people who have contributed to the growth HTC has experienced the past several years. However, to achieve our long-term goals as a business and return maximum value to our shareholders, this is a necessary step to drive ongoing innovation, ensure our ability to create strong products like the HTC One, and forge strong customer relationships that solidify our future. HTC is proud of its employees and has a track record of hiring the best and brightest; we continue to hire in strategic areas and encourage impacted employees to apply for open positions that are a fit for their skills.
I wonder if this was also fallout from HTC’s Robert Downey Jr. ads.