BenQ chairman offers to resign over phone troubles

The chairman of BenQ Corp. offered his resignation on Tuesday over losses caused by the company's inability to make its former German mobile phone subsidiary profitable. BenQ's board of directors refused to accept the offer, however, demanding that he remain in his role and turn the company around.

K.Y. Lee offered to resign over losses suffered after the Taiwanese company's acquisition, then disposal, of the mobile phone arm of Siemens AG, which operated for about a year under the name BenQ Mobile GmbH & Co. OHG.

BenQ Mobile filed for bankruptcy last September after BenQ announced it would stop investing in it, then a few weeks ago the German administrator dealing with the case said the company would be split up and sold after attempts to find a buyer failed.

BenQ obtained the mobile phone operations from Siemens in 2005 as part of a bid to develop a global mobile phone brand. Stiff competition in the mobile phone industry hurt the company's efforts to grow, however, and after racking up losses of over €840 million ($1.1 billion), BenQ finally called it quits.

The company's board refused the resignation Tuesday and said it will form a task force to review and report on all losses attributed to the acquisition of the mobile phone maker.

BenQ reported a loss of NT$27.6 billion (US$832.7 million) for the full year 2006, on sales of NT$130.6 billion.

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