HTC’s Jason Mackenzie promoted to executive vice president as company looks beyond smartphones

Daniel Bader

January 22, 2016 5:03pm

HTC is in a bind and it knows it. The company’s unaudited December numbers revealed revenue at its lowest point since 2005, well before the rise and fall of its smartphone business.

After releasing relatively popular devices like the HTC One X, One M7 and One M8, the company’s 2015 flagship, the One M9, failed to impress both buyers and investors; the company’s stock has sunk to less than 10 percent of its 2011 value, and in September was removed from Taiwan’s TWSE50 stock exchange for dipping below the required market cap.

Today, after promising an internal reorganization complete with a 15 percent global workforce layoff, HTC promoted Jason Mackenzie, former president of HTC Americas, to global Executive Vice President of Partnerships. André Lönne, previously vice president of sales for HTC America, will fill the vacant presidency.

The move comes as HTC refactors its intentions for the technology industry, working with companies like Valve and Under Armour to build alternative, more viable categories within the company. Smartphone sales, its former revenue leader, have dragged down the company’s fortunes in recent years.

HTC hopes that by getting into burgeoning categories like VR and IoT before they reach critical mass, it can smoothly transition into another position of power, one it had as recently as 2011.

“Jason Mackenzie is one of HTC’s strongest senior executives and it was important for us to promote our senior talent and take advantage of his leadership as HTC moves forward,” said Cher Wang, HTC’s CEO. Wang has been criticized for not righting the proverbial ship quickly enough, approving too many smartphones that have not sold well.

HTC’s smartphones have been largely removed from Canadian carriers’ shelves since the One M9 was given End-of-Life status. The company announced the One A9 in October to replace it, but it is only sold unlocked through HTC’s online portal.

  • Ipse

    “As the company looks beyond smartphones”…..and sees the abyss….

  • George

    Even lausy Galaxies fail to impress do you expect HTC impress?
    HTC is nothing except another sinking company like Blackberry, although Blackberry has more chance of survival than these guys.

  • Benny X

    HTC has far too many models of phones which all look the same and are usually overpriced. If HTC can’t be bothered to clean up their product line and innovate with differentiating products, why should consumers be interested in them?

  • kokos

    Apple fanboys are everywhere, go cry now because your pretty litle iphone cracked like a chinese toy. HTC always be thousands steps forward from apple’s HARDWARE! Look at the marketshare, IOS statistics are shrinking every month. I bet in two years iphones will have around 1-2% of the market share

    • George

      Seems you are one of few HTC Canada employee left and still trying to convince people HTC is the best. Yes it was years ago!

    • Longtin

      HTC M9 will run just as good as a Samsung S6, LG G4, almost as good as Nexus 6P – which all blow the iPhones out of the water. They fail because yes, they are not known, marketing team is terrible. They do often copy or look to “improve” on samsung / iphone models because they both dominate the smartphone industry right now in the high end devices. They also fail because of pricing in my opinion. Make the phone $0/2yr (the economic inducement will still be $750 so if you cancel in a year from now you would owe $325). The carriers still get their money, customers are happy because they want everything for free. You have no idea how many times I hear ” I would never pay for a phone on a contract.” – Obviously there’s much more solutions and problems to HTC but that’s 2 huge focuses that I would personally fix.

    • gommer strike

      I feel you brought up a very important point here.

      With the trend of carriers in the US doing away with the 2-year contracts to subsidize the price of the phone, customers are going to be in for a bit of an initial shock on how much the phone really is.

      It’s also interesting that each Sept when Apple announces their next iPhone, that we see all these crazy lineups in time for the big release. This suggests to me that a ton of people are simply buying the latest and greatest iPhone outright. Those who are on contract – I presume it makes the most sense to just wait out the contract(this would be the similar audience that you were referring to).

      This is the funny thing here. I see all these people who decry how the subsidies mask the true price of the phone, yet these very same people moan and groan every time a new Android phone is released that’s $700+. Folks we can’t have it both ways.

      Either you pay only $300 for a new flagship(and stay on the 2-year contract which, let’s be honest, you were probably gonna stick with them anyways), or you may $700-$800 full price. Or you can of course just stay with the budget phones.

      With regards to HTC, the fact that you can only buy them from the HTC online store drove a huge nail in the coffin for them. For customers to not even see the HTC A9 in retail? Ouch.

  • Rob Da Bruce

    time to try and sell yourselves to microsoft, I mean they just lov things that lose money…like win x….hey maybe they can out windows on those phones and lose even more!

  • quadibloc

    HTC is perfectly capable of making good smartphones, as it did before. At least it isn’t saddled by Blackberry’s problem of attachment to a non-standard platform. Mending its ways in that market would seem to be more likely to be successful than a gamble on a completely new area.