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HTC Blames COVID-19 Pandemic For Layoffs

HTC Blames COVID-19 Pandemic For Layoffs

HTC, the company behind the HTC Vive brand, today confirmed staff layoffs, citing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as one reason.

The scale of layoffs, which were initially reported by Focus Taiwan, has not been confirmed at this point in time. According to the initial report, this is the company’s second round of layoffs since December of last year.

An official statement from HTC reads as follows:

“Like many companies, we are seeing impacts from COVID-19 and global economic conditions. HTC has continued its work to reduce expenditure by optimizing processes, practicing cost control and seeking prudent uses of new technology. These efforts have brought forth positive results such as continuous growth of gross margin of our primary products. However, HTC remains under tremendous pressure.

“After cautious discussion and study, we are strategically reallocating human resources to optimize company structure and reduce operational expenditure. This has required us to make select employee reductions across the world.  We want to thank all HTC employees for their contributions and we believe these efforts will help us to meet the innovation demands of our global customers.”

Speaking to UploadVR earlier in the year, HTC Vive GM Dan O’Brien acknowledged that the company’s latest consumer-focused VR headset, the HTC Vive Cosmos, had seen a “rough start” at launch in late 2019. The company hasn’t shared sales statistics for the device, but updates from the monthly Steam Hardware Survey suggest it hasn’t managed to capture a significant portion of the PC VR landscape. Back in March the company launched a new bundle for the device featuring SteamVR tracking. It also plans to launch a cheaper, leaner package called Vive Cosmos Play sometime this year. HTC also offers a range of enterprise-focused headsets like the Vive Pro Eye and standalone Vive Focus Plus.

AR headset maker Magic Leap also announced layoffs recently, and CEO Rony Abovitz announced he will step down.

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