HTC Chairwoman and co-founder Cher Wang has taken over some of the day-to-day duties of CEO Peter Chou so he can focus more on products, in what is being positioned as a temporary move to help the struggling smartphone maker right the ship.
HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang said the next two months are the company's "biggest challenge" as it moves into the holiday shopping season and tries to reverse its sales slump amid tougher competition from Apple's iPhone 5s and 5c, Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Note 3 and other holiday offerings.
HTC reported its first quarterly loss since it became a public company in 2002, as it had warned it might, underscoring the challenges the company faces as it continues to try to turn around sales in a smartphone market that has squeezed its market share.
HTC confirmed that it laid off workers at its U.S. unit on Friday. The job cuts come as the smartphone maker continues to struggle in its turnaround efforts.
HTC CEO Peter Chou has said he has no plans to step down and the company is making progress in turning around sales through its flagship One smartphone and its variants. However, a portrait painted by an in-depth profile of Chou by Reuters indicates that insiders in the company view Chou as an obstacle to a revival in the struggling company's fortunes.
HTC confirmed that actor Robert Downey Jr., star of the "Iron Man" and "Sherlock Holmes" film series, will be the spokesperson for a new advertising campaign aimed at restoring luster to the struggling company's brand.
HTC denied rumors that the company is planning to sell itself, and it launched a share buyback plan aimed at shoring up its stock price as it continues to try to turn its business around.
HTC, struggling to gain traction on the back of its flagship One smartphone, warned that it could post an operating loss for the third quarter, which would be its first since it became a public company in 2002. The smartphone maker also said it will release more mid-tier products to help it shore up its business.
HTC is once again making Jason Mackenzie, its president of global sales, the leader of its Americas business. The company is also creating an emerging devices unit, though it's unclear what that will be focused on.
HTC put the rumors to rest and formally announced the One mini, the smaller version of its flagship One smartphone, which the company hopes will help extend the One brand and help it reach a wider range of consumers.