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HTC denies chief marketing officer quitting

TAIPEI--Taiwanese handset maker HTC Corp. (宏達電) on Monday denied media reports that its chief marketing officer will defect to a new entrant to Taiwan's 4G market later this year.

In an e-mail to CNA, HTC said Ben Ho is not leaving the company or changing his position but rather will continue to focus on his current marketing work.

It was reported in the local media earlier in the day that Ho, who joined HTC in January 2013, will resign in May and take up a job with Ambit Microsystems Corp. (國碁電子), which recently entered the 4G market and is backed by the Hon Hai Group (鴻海集團)

The reports said Ho's decision to leave HTC was spurred by his shrinking role in the company after a poor consumer response to his two-year "Change" marketing campaign that features Hollywood actor Robert Downey Jr., the star of the "Iron Man" movie series.

Late last year, HTC said its advertising awareness had increased 12 percent and brand awareness 15 percent in the markets where the "Change" campaign had been aired August to October 2013.

The company's promotional blitz, however, failed to boost its market share in the United States, which had fallen to 6.7 percent at the end of October 2013 from 8 percent in July last year, according to data from the market research firm comScore Inc.

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