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HTC brings Mackenzie back to lead Americas unit, creates emerging devices biz

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HTC is once again making Jason Mackenzie, its president of global sales, the leader of its Americas business. The company is also creating an emerging devices unit, though it's unclear what that will be focused on.

htc Jason Mackenzie

Mackenzie

According to an internal HTC email that the company confirmed to the Wall Street Journal, HTC CEO Peter Chou announced the changes in an effort to build on the success of its flagship smartphone, the HTC One.

"Effective immediately, in addition to his current duties in supporting me with global corporate strategy, [President of Global Sales] Jason Mackenzie will lead HTC America," Chou wrote in the email on Sunday. "[President of North America] Mike Woodward will lead Emerging Devices, a newly established business unit that will focus on innovative new HTC products and global distribution strategies." Chou did not elaborate on the emerging devices unit.

Mackenzie previously was HTC's president for the Americas for a year before moving up the ladder to lead global sales and marketing in 2011; he has been the head of global sales strategy since the fall of 2012. Woodward was hired from AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) last summer, where he was the vice president of AT&T's consumer wireless device and accessory portfolio.

"I want to thank these two outstanding leaders for their contributions to the success of the HTC One so far," Chou wrote of Mackenzie and Woodward. "But as you know and would expect, we also need to do more. With the success of the One, we have many new opportunities both to expand current sales as well as to enter new distribution channels with new business models."

The reshuffling at HTC comes after a series of executive departures in recent months. Outgoing executives include COO Matthew Costello, Chief Product Officer Kouji Kodera, Jason Gordon, HTC's vice president of global communications, and President of South Asia Operations Lennard Hoornick. Chou and Mackenzie have played down the departures.

The indication of an emerging devices unit at HTC is notable in light of product announcements and reports that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung Electronics, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Sony Mobile Communications and Motorola Mobility are all working on wearable computing projects.

HTC's front-office shakeup comes shortly after the company reported that its second-quarter net profit declined 83 percent to $41.6 million, down from $245.4 million a year earlier and missing analysts' estimates of a $66.3 million profit for the quarter. The company had hoped that sales of the One smartphone would help it rebound, but HTC's revenue also declined 22 percent to $2.34 billion, down from $3.02 billion a year earlier.

HTC's latest smartphone is the One mini, a smaller version of its flagship One smartphone, which the company hopes will help extend the One brand by reaching a wider range of consumers. HTC said the One mini will be available in "select markets" starting in August and rolled out globally in September, but the company did not reveal pricing, specific availability or which U.S. carriers will offer the One mini.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this The Verge article
- see this TechCrunch article

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