Toshiba marketing veteran defects to BenQ

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Long-standing Toshiba Australia marketing man Laurie White has defected to fledgling laptop player BenQ as notebook business unit manager.

Long-standing Toshiba Australia marketing man Laurie White has defected to fledgling laptop player BenQ as notebook business unit manager.

White had been with Toshiba since 1994, and two years into his employment, was asked to become involved in the worldwide product design process of Toshiba notebooks, according to a BenQ statement.

In the new role, White said he would drive channel and product marketing and intended to boost shipments of BenQ's Joybook laptop range from 300 to 1,200 units over the next six months.

In contrast, Toshiba Information Systems -- the number one notebook manufacturer in Australia -- moves on average 12,000 laptop units per month, up from 3,000 per month when White joined in 1994.

He said BenQ was a well-funded company, had a good set of products and had a strong message around 'convergence.' Other IT companies had saturated the business market and were now focusing on retail/consumer, a growing market where BenQ was focused. White said that there were no 'big cost overheads in the company and no legacy, so it's a clean slate.'

BenQ distributes its Joybooks through BlueChip IT, Multimedia Technology and Westan. White said the company was in the throes of negotiating a new distribution arrangement with a major distributor, which he declined to name.

White was also working with a tidy marketing budget. He said 3 percent of BenQ's entire sales revenue in Australia was being spent on marketing and advertising.

Prior to joining Toshiba, White worked at Unisys starting in engineering and moving through roles in sales-support and marketing.

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