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HTC turns to new marketing chief

Coming off an abysmal quarter and generally lackluster performance of late, the phone maker could use a good marketing push.

Zack Whittaker Writer-editor
Zack Whittaker is a former security editor for CNET's sister site ZDNet.
Zack Whittaker
2 min read
HTC's latest smartphone: the Droid DNA. Sarah Tew/CNET

Ailing smartphone maker HTC has hired a new marketing chief to help turn the company around amid a continuing financial downturn.

Benjamin Ho, the former vice president of business strategy and marketing at Taiwanese network FarEasTone and former chief marketing officer of Motorola, will replace John Wang as HTC's chief marketing officer.

Wang's departure was not explained, but the company said he will leave the firm in December, and Ho will begin in January and will be "leading HTC into its next phase of brand marketing and awareness," the firm said in a statement.

The move is to lead a project, dubbed internally as "Marketing 2.0" (how original), as the Taiwanese smartphone maker aims to refocus its efforts around holistic marketing and mass-market brand outreach. In a subtle shift in position, HTC president of global sales and marketing Jason Mackenzie will now head up HTC"s global sales strategy, the firm said.

HTC is hoping that its new marketing strategy will help turn around the company in the coming months and new year, as the firm fights to keep its head above the water in terms of market share and financial health.

Financially, the company last month announced dwindling revenue in the third quarter at $2.39 billion, down from $3 billion in the immediately preceding quarter. The firm's profit during the third quarter represented a 79 percent drop year over year. The company is also expected to struggle in the lucrative December sales-oriented fourth quarter, posting even lower revenue and downgrading its forecast.

Its recent smartphone has received rave reviews, but given the duopoly at the top of the smartphone chain, Apple with iOS and Samsung with Android, it's difficult for any other company to wedge a foot in the door. 

After a U.S. International Trade Commission investigation, and patent spats with Apple -- which the two battling companies have now resolved -- the smartphone maker continues to develop new devices for a bevy of platforms, including Windows Phone and Android, but has yet to gain any significant ground.

Recent ComScore figures suggest that while HTC remains in the top mobile OEMs in the U.S., it's losing a sliver of share month by month.

This story originally appeared at ZDNet's Between the Lines under the headline "HTC hires new marketing chief in bounce back hopes.