HTC announces it has hired new marketing boss

PERSONNEL::The firm is hiring Singaporean Benjamin Ho away from Far EasTone to help revamp its marketing and brand outreach efforts

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Nov 29, 2012 - Page 13

Smartphone vendor HTC Corp (宏達電) yesterday announced Benjamin Ho (何永生) would replace John Wang (王景弘) as chief marketing officer in January.

The key personnel change comes as the world’s No. 5 smartphone brand has recently ended a patent fight with Apple Inc, but still faces intensified competition from Apple and Samsung Electronics Co.

HTC’s stock price rose 3.02 percent to close at NT$256 in Taipei trading, after local media reported earlier in the day that Ho would leave Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) to join HTC.

So far this year, the stock has plunged 48.49 percent, according to Taiwan Stock Exchange data.

At HTC, Ho, a Singaporean, will be responsible for worldwide marketing and branding, and his first assignment will be to lead a project, dubbed “Marketing 2.0,” to refocus the company’s efforts around marketing and mass-market brand outreach, while Jason Mackenzie, currently president of global sales and marketing, will focus on global sales strategy, the company said.

On Oct. 26, HTC told an investors’ conference that it planned to continue marketing investment in a bid to increase its brand awareness in developed and emerging countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, after revenue declined for a second consecutive quarter to NT$70.2 billion (US$2.41 billion) in the third quarter, which was the lowest in 11 quarters.

“We welcome Benjamin to HTC and look forward to integrating the global marketing capabilities he brings to the company,” HTC chief executive officer Peter Chou (周永明) said in a statement.

Ho is currently vice president of business strategy and marketing at Far EasTone, the statement said.

He previously served as vice president and chief marketing officer at Motorola Asia Pacific Ltd for eight years, as well as a working as a director at BBDO Greater China, Dentsu and Young and Rubicam International, the statement said.