According to a shocking report published in the Wall Street Journal, around five HTC employees along with a top level senior executive named Thomas Chien, who is currently the vice-president of product design at HTC, have been indicted by a court in Taiwan for corporate espionage.
The charges in question are indeed very serious and vary from things like falsifying expense reports, leaking company secrets, and taking kickbacks.
Thomas Chien, the vice-president of product design at HTC was alleged to have leaked and shared the interface designs of HTC Sense 6.0 UI to his partner with whom he was planning to start a separate venture later. He was also accused of receiving around 33.57 million New Taiwan dollars (approximately $1.12 million) from suppliers in the form of kickbacks.
It all started during August this year, when Chien and the other accused HTC employees were arrested for these charges. At that time, it was reported that Bill Wu, HTC’s R&D director and Justin Huang, the design team senior manager were among the other HTC employees to be arrested. However, the report in Wall Street Journal does not specifically name any other person apart from Chien at the moment.
HTC refused to comment on the current employment status of the indicted employees nor has it confirmed the names of the employees who have been charged for corporate espionage. An HTC spokesperson has however issued a statement that says that they do not condone any such violation.
“The company expects employees to observe and practice the highest levels of integrity and ethics. Protecting the company’s proprietary and intellectual properties, privacy and security is a core fundamental responsibility of every employee. The company does not condone any violation.”
This news will really come as a major setback to HTC, which is already reeling with the poor performance of its flagship handsets. With several of its top employees being indicted by the verdict and most likely being terminated, they would also become an addition to the several high profile executive departures which have happened at HTC lately.