HTC isn't doing too well right now, having seen a frontrunning spot on the Android gravy train turn into a slippery slope down towards the mobile doldroms in barely two years.
And boss Peter Chou believes he knows where the problem lies – bureaucracy.
In a rally-the-troops internal email sent earlier this week – which (naturally) leaked nearly straight away – Chou has told employees to spend less time in meetings, and more time actually getting some work done.
“We have people in meeting and talking all the time but without decision, strategic direction or sense of urgency,” Chou's company-wide missive read.
“Don’t let the processes, rules and norms to impact our important goals,” he wrote. “Of course we have to follow certain rules and criteria but don’t let small things kill the major goals.”
The email, entitled “we are coming back”, has emerged against a backdrop of poor performance that has seen HTC slip to now rank as only the eighth biggest global mobile phone maker – a long way down on the halcyon days of the likes of the HTC Hero, HTC Magic and even more recent devices such as the HTC Desire.
“We are disappointed that our sales are down while smartphone market share is growing,” Chou added. “Our competitors can leverage their scale, brand awareness and big marketing budget to do things which HTC could not do.
“The fast growth from the last two years has slowed us down.”
And in truth the company's handsets individually remain strong, suggesting that the Taiwanese firm's problem is indeed one of strategy and direction.
After a scatter-gun approach last year of flooding the market with a wide range of overlapping products (a strategy which clearly failed), HTC's plan for 2012 – to scale back to a much smaller portfolio of more distinct handsets – doesn't seem to be faring any better.
The bad news now, of course, is that even if HTC does now hit upon the right strategy, it'll be hard to avoid people thinking it's just another change of focus for a company that clearly seems to have lost all sense of direction.