Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and video games in particular. You can reach him on Twitter, circle him on Google+ and connect with him on LinkedIn.
Facing tough competition from Samsung and Apple, HTC has decided to switch out the head of its America operations and launch a new company division focusing on new, unique products.
An internal email picked up by the Wall Street Journal reveals that Jason Mackenzie, president of global sales at HTC, will also lead HTC America from here on in. Mike Woodward, president of North America for HTC, will meanwhile spearhead the new Emerging Devices business unit.
The strategy or roadmap for this particular team hasn’t been disclosed; HTC chief executive Peter Chou said it had been tasked with creating “innovative new HTC products and global distribution strategies.”
“I want to thank these two outstanding leaders for their contributions to the success of the HTC One so far,” Chou said. “But as you know and would expect, we also need to do more. With the success of the One, we have many new opportunities both to expand current sales as well as to enter new distribution channels with new business models.”
HTC’s corporate image has been fragmented of late, due to a number of high-level departures which include the company’s chief operating officer Matthew Costello. He follows Lennard Hoornik, CEO of HTC Asia, as well as chief product officer Kouji Kodera and Jason Gordon, Vice President of Global Communications.
It’s hoped that the HTC One, the company’s flagship Android smartphone, will continue to drive revenue throughout the next 12 months and carve out a new design ethos that can differentiate the company’s products from Apple and Samsung. The handset has already hit “around 5 million sales”, which is respectable given HTC’s rather modest global marketing budget.
For comparison, Samsung has already hit 10 million units sold for its equivalent smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Nevertheless, the introduction of the HTC One Mini – which continues the unusual ‘UltraPixel’ camera system and impressive dual front-facing speakers – in addition to the HTC First – which, admittedly, has sold so poorly that Facebook has been forced to abandon its launch in the UK indefinitely – shows that the company is at least prepared to try new ideas to dig itself out of its current predicament.
The latest boardroom shuffle will hopefully continue this trend and help HTC design and create a new wave of products that can be commercially, not just critically, successful. Its gloomy bottom line and share price would certainly benefit from it.
Image Credit: SAM YEH/AFP/GettyImages
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.