Tue, Apr 29, 2014 - Page 13 News List

HTC refrains from confirming latest executive switch

ROUNDABOUT:As the smartphone vendor continued its efforts to break a string of disappointing quarterly returns, rumors of another executive reassignment arose

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

A customer tries out HTC Corp’s One M8 smartphone at one of the company’s stores in Taipei on Saturday, April 5.

Photo: Maurice Tsai/Bloomberg

Smartphone vendor HTC Corp (宏達電) yesterday declined to confirm a media report that Edward Wang (王文淵) had been appointed as acting chief financial officer.

Instead, the company echoed a statement from Dec. 17 last year that said chief financial officer Chang Chia-lin (張嘉臨) will continue in his role “until the time a transition of responsibilities makes sense.”

The rumored shake-up comes after HTC in December last year assigned Chang a new role as global head of sales after more than two years of quarterly sales declines.

According to a Bloomberg report, Wang had been tapped to take the role of acting chief financial officer after serving as associate vice president of finance and accounting because Chang had increased his focus on HTC’s global sales.

While the Taoyuan-based HTC declined to comment on the report, it said Chang “played a key role” in helping the company seek product innovation and business growth.

“With our commitment to expanding sales and entering new distribution channels, Chang has been deeply involved at a strategic level,” HTC said in an e-mailed statement.

“As such, he is well-positioned to help lead HTC in our next phase of growth as global head of sales since last December. Until the time a transition of responsibilities makes sense, he will also continue in his role as chief financial officer,” it added.

HTC plans an earnings conference call for Tuesday next week.

The company’s sales last quarter shrank 22.59 percent year-on-year to a five-year low of NT$33.12 billion (US$1.1 billion), missing the company’s own estimate of between NT$34 billion and NT$36 billion.

HTC generated a net loss of NT$1.88 billion last quarter, after a net profit of NT$85 million a year earlier.

Chang in February said the company would turn profitable beginning this quarter, as it started selling its a new flagship product, the HTC One M8, and mid-tier models the HTC Desire 816 and HTC Desire 610 in emerging markets such as China and India.

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