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HTC poaches Samsung marketing exec in Judas move

HTC's latest marketing move doesn't involve another famous actor, but instead a former Samsung star.

An HTC spokesman confirmed a Bloomberg report that the company hired former Samsung marketing chief Paul Golden as a consultant.

"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," a spokesman told us in an emailed statement.

"To achieve our long-term goals as a business and return maximum value to our shareholders, these are necessary steps to drive ongoing innovation, ensure our ability to forge strong foundation that solidify our future," he said.

The confirmation comes after Bloomberg cited unnamed sources who said Golden's long-term position has not been finalised. His hiring is based on a three-month contract, during which he will report directly to chairman Cher Wang.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Golden is currently working with Brand Slam, which provides marketing solutions for companies like Cox Communications, USA Today, and Samsung.

HTC has tried reinventing itself with the help of famous faces like Robert Downey Jr. and, more recently, actor Gary Oldman. But even Iron Man hasn't pulled the handset maker out of its slump.

Earlier this month, HTC reported deep losses for the first quarter, amidst the rollout of its latest flagship device, the HTC One (M8). The phone maker saw losses of £37.43 million, and is still playing catch up with heavyweights like Apple and Samsung.

But HTC hopes to turn that around with the Golden touch. Serving as Samsung's US chief marketing officer from 2008 to 2012, Golden helped create and launch the Galaxy brand—also known as "the next big thing"—which went a long way toward boosting the company's global smartphone market share, the Wall Street Journal said.

The new flagship HTC One (M8) was announced in late March, boasting a brushed-metal body with a 5in, 1080p Gorilla Glass LCD screen, as well as Boomsound speakers and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. On the back, the unusual Duo Camera lets the One perform after-the-fact, Lytro-like focus tricks with the 4-megapixel main camera.

More than 90 per cent of the phone's body is metal, but according to recent rumors, HTC may be giving the smartphone a plastic makeunder for the Chinese market. Expected as early as next month, the plastic M8 will likely be significantly cheaper than the current model, and is meant to compete with handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S5.