Taiwan's HTC trims U.S. workforce, shares tumble

TAIPEI Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:10pm EDT

Customers look at HTC smartphones in a mobile phone shop in Taipei July 30, 2013. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

Customers look at HTC smartphones in a mobile phone shop in Taipei July 30, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Pichi Chuang

TAIPEI (Reuters) - HTC Corp laid off around 20 percent of its U.S.-based staff in what it called a move to streamline its operations after a period of growth, sending its shares tumbling on Monday.

The struggling Taiwanese smartphone maker said it laid off 30 employees on Friday to "optimize our organization and improve efficiencies after several years of aggressive growth".

The company's shares dropped 4 percent by 0122 GMT on Monday, underperforming a 0.9 percent rise in the broader market.

HTC had around 150 employees in the United States - its largest market until last year - before the layoffs, including some design and marketing executives. The company said in a statement that it would "continue to hire in strategic areas".

The U.S. layoffs represent a tiny fraction of HTC's global workforce of about 17,000.

HTC's sales so far this year have dropped 31.5 percent compared to the same period last year, rocked by a component shortage in the beginning of the year and its position at the high end of a smartphone market that is close to saturation.

(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Stephen Coates)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
Foxdrake_360 wrote:
I own the HTC One; it is simply the best smart phone I’ve ever used.

I don’t know why people prefer iPhones to this clearly superior product, but as long s HTC is around to keep making them I don’t really care.

I suspect it’s Samsung’s Galaxy S4 that’s the real threat…but plastic over solid milled aluminum? Well there’s no accounting for taste.

Sep 15, 2013 12:08am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Yamayoko wrote:
We’re talking about innovations 3 to 5 years down the road at the manufacturing hub as backed up by R&D. If anyone lags behind, one has to admit defeat and quit. It has nothing to do with how good in versatility the product you’re now using.

Sep 16, 2013 2:07am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Foxdrake_360 wrote:
Oh… OK.

Let’s just see how “innovative” the iPhone is in 3-5 years. Market share shrinking. I’ve seen this before IBM, Xerox, Apple … they begin to drink there own cool-aid and get passed-by; by cheaper, faster, better… real quick. 3-5 years? Let’s hope we don’t have a nuclear war in 3-5 years.

Sep 19, 2013 1:12am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.