HTC appoints new CMO, looks to get back smartphone spark

Benjamin Ho to lead new marketing effort as Jason Mackenzie focuses on strategy
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HTC named Benjamin Ho as its new CMO. The action comes as the Taiwanese smartphone maker looks to gain back its edge in the market and reverse declines in sales.

Ho will join the company in January and report directly to CEO Peter Chou. Previously, Ho served as vice president of business strategy and marketing at Taiwan's Far EasTone Telecommunications, and before that as vice president and CMO at Motorola Asia Pacific.

HTC's Jason Mackenzie, currently serving as president of global sales and marketing, will focus on HTC's global sales strategy. An HTC spokeswoman, who declined to be named, told Dow Jones Newswires that HTC's current CMO John Wang will leave the company in December but didn't state a reason.

"Ho's first assignment will be to lead a project, dubbed internally as Marketing 2.0, refocusing HTC's efforts around holistic marketing and mass-market brand outreach," HTC said in a statement. 

HTC has been trying to fend of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung at the high end and the likes of ZTE and Huawei at the low end of the market. HTC's global smartphone market share has declined from 10.3 percent in the third quarter of 2011 to 4 percent in the third quarter of this year, according to IDC. In the third quarter, HTC reported a 79 percent decline in profit and a 48 percent drop in revenue. 

HTC's Android-powered One series of phones have not sold as well as the company would have liked, and it is banking on a renewed focus on Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone 8 to help propel sales in the fourth quarter. HTC and Microsoft have launched a joint marketing effort for the OEM's two news Windows Phones, the high-end 8S and mid-range 8S. 

For more:
- see this release
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article

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