VTech Holdings - the largest maker of cordless phones for the United States market - has appointed four SAR businessmen as non-executive directors in an effort to improve corporate governance. The appointments come as the company - which suffered the worst loss in its history in the year to March 31 due to poor execution in an asset acquisition - is close to completing its year-long restructuring. They also coincide with the announcement of an improvement of net profit to US$3.3 million in the six months to September 30 from US$800,000 in the previous corresponding period. The new directors are Chinadotcom chairman Raymond Chien Kuo-fung; trading firm Li & Fung group managing director William Fung Kwok-lun; G2000 chairman Michael Tien Puk-sun and Johnson Electric chairman Patrick Wang Shui-chung. VTech chairman Allan Wong Chi-yun said six members of the present board of directors had resigned, while he, chief financial officer Paddy Law and group vice-chairman Albert Lee would remain on the board. The board will meet four times a year and be accessible to management for advice on business development. Mr Wong said the company recently set up a board of management with eight senior managers, some of whom were directors who had stepped down from the board. 'The reshuffle will send a message to the public that VTech is a professionally managed company, not like a family-run company,' he said. In the six months to September 30, VTech's turnover dropped 25.3 per cent year-on-year to US$529.6 million. Mr Wong said the decline was not due to deteriorating market conditions, but rather a conscious effort by the company to get out of product segments with low profit margins. It was part of a restructuring programme which saw the company cut 4,500 staff, sell its Mexican plants and streamline regional operations, after the company's ill-fated US$113.32 million acquisition of some consumer telephone operations from US-based telecoms group Lucent Technologies in March last year. Mr Wong is confident about prospects for a profitable second half, but said this would hinge on sales over the Christmas season.