Chen’s appointment confirms the departure of predecessor Ben Ho, whose exit had been rumoured for nearly three months. He is to report to chairwoman Cher Wang and will work closely with chief executive Peter Chou and chief financial officer Chang Chia-lin.
Chen takes over the marketing reigns at a time when the company will be quietly confident it can grow the brand after recent cost cuts helped put it on the path to recovery from losses earlier this year. Unaudited profit for the three months to September was T$640 million (£13m), significantly more than the T$216.23 million (£4m) predicted by analysts.
The performance backs claims from HTC’s last quarterly earnings report that cost cuts had bolstered efficiency across its marketing and sales functions.
Despite the upturn, HTC faces a tough undertaking to win back lost share in a competitive smartphone market. Sales in September fell 7.9 per cent year-on-year to T$16.7 billion, the company said. Year-to-date revenue through September was down 13 percent to T$140 billion.
The business has struggled to woo users to its flagship One M8 phone despite a positive reception and a high profile ad campaign, thought to be worth more than $1bn. HTC had hoped the phone and the subsequent marketing around it would transform perceptions of the brand and help it to achieve a target of double digital market share in the UK.
Prior to his appointment Chen was the company’s chief development officer.