HTC taps ex-Samsung exec for marketing muscle

Paul Golden, the former head of marketing for Samsung's mobile division, will serve as an adviser to HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang.

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The HTC One M8 Google Play edition. Sarah Tew/CNET

HTC is looking for a little of that Samsung Electronics marketing magic.

The Taiwanese smartphone maker has hired Paul Golden, the former head of marketing for Samsung's US mobile division, as an adviser to HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang, CNET confirmed. The hiring was first reported by Bloomberg.

HTC could use the help in the marketing department, as the company continues to struggle with shrinking market share and operating losses as it consistently gets overshadowed by larger rivals Samsung and Apple. The original HTC One was largely ignored in favor of the Galaxy S4, and HTC is attempting to avoid repeating history with the HTC One M8, which has to contend with Samsung's Galaxy S5.

Wang has recently taken over some of the day-to-day duties from CEO Peter Chou, leaving Chou to focus on the products themselves. Part of her new duties is to widen and strengthen its marketing push for the HTC One M8.

In the US, HTC has unveiled a series of ads featuring actor Gary Oldman, known for roles like Commission Gorden in the Batman "Dark Knight" trilogy. Its "blah blah" campaign directs consumers to the Internet and to form their own opinions before buying a new smartphone. The HTC One M8 has largely gained critical acclaim for its metal design.

The company has vowed to support the HTC One M8 with a stronger and more visible marketing campaign.

Golden served as the chief marketing officer for Samsung's US mobile division from February 2008 through January 2012. While there, he helped develop and cement the Galaxy brand as a powerhouse in the US.

His successor, Todd Pendleton, helped bring in the series of "Next Big Thing" ads and the commercials mocking the Apple lines debuted under his tenure.

He most recently served as a managing partner for a marketing consultancy called Brand Slam, according to his LinkedIn profile.

"HTC continues to invest in talent and recruitment as part of our broader human resources strategy to ensure the continued strength of our company's organizational structure," the company said in an e-mailed statement.

Golden's role at HTC isn't yet a long-term one, with the executive initially hired for a three-month stint, according to Bloomberg.

Updated at 5:23 a.m. PT: To include confirmation of the hiring by CNET and a statement by HTC.

Corrected at 8:22 a.m. PT on April 21: An earlier story incorrectly stated that the "Next Big Thing" ads came under Golden's tenure. Pendleton is currently CMO of Samsung's US mobile unit.

 

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