HTC management exodus carries on with exit of operations chief

THE CHIEF operating officer of smartphone maker HTC has left the company following embarrassing delays to the rollout of the company’s flagship device.

Matthew Costello is leaving his position while remaining an adviser to the company, the Taiwanese firm told employees yesterday. The departure is the latest in a litany of executives to leave HTC, whose profits have slumped in the last year as it has lost a significant slice of the market.

Most recently, the company saw the launch of its top-of-the-range smartphone, the HTC One, delayed as suppliers failed to produce parts in time. The suppliers had reportedly downgraded HTC’s importance as a customer after noting its declining sales.

Although the HTC One has received rave reviews and positive early sales figures, it appears unlikely that the firm will return to the heights it experienced in 2010.

The company’s devices were once the most sought-after alternative to Apple’s iPhone, but Samsung’s rapid rise has knocked it off its perch, and the HTC One faces stiff competition from the Samsung Galaxy S4, seen as the most desirable smartphone to be launched this year.

In April, HTC posted a 98 per cent fall in profits for the first quarter of the year, although more recent sales figures suggest the decline has tapered off.

Costello is the third executive to leave in as many weeks, after HTC’s chief product officer and Asia chief executive left. The company said that Fred Liu, president of engineering and operations, will replace Costello.