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Acer CEO Resigns as Board Wants to be Apple

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 28 comments

Acer and its former CEO had different ideas.

Acer, one of the biggest seller of personal computers in the world, now has a change of leadership at the very top.

Acer CEO and President Gianfranco Lanci today resigned from the company, with Chairman J.T. Wang taking acting role in the interim. The resignation was approved at a meeting of Acer's Board of Directors today.

The computer company was clear on the reason for his departure: Lanci held different views from a majority of the board members, and could not reach a consensus following several months' of dialog. According to the press release, he and the board placed different levels of importance on scale, growth, customer value creation, brand position enhancement, and on resource allocation and methods of implementation.

Acer Chairman, J.T. Wang commented, "The personal computer remains the core of our business. We have built up a strong foundation and will continue to expand within, especially in the commercial PC segment. In addition, we are stepping into the new mobile device market, where we will invest cautiously and aim to become one of the leading players."

Such comments make it sound as if Lanci had ideas to shift focus away from the PC and towards mobile devices less cautiously than the board wanted.

"In this new ICT industry," continued Wang, "Acer needs a period of time for adjustment. With the spirit of entrepreneurship, we will face new challenges and look to the future with confidence."

UPDATE: It was the other way around. Lanci's strategy was in the PC space competing against Dell and HP but the board wanted to compete against the likes of Apple and HTC on phones and tablets.

The move was made likely after the board saw the dollar signs that come with Apple's profit margins. According to Bloomberg, Apple had a 21.5 percent profit margin in its last fiscal year, whereas Acer had 2.3 percent.

“We were almost too successful in the past . . . but more recently the iPad [tablet computer] and other new form factors have had a very big impact on the PC market,” Mr. Wang said to the Financial Times. “We have to change our business strategy.”

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  • -1 Hide
    schmich , April 1, 2011 2:18 AM
    So a brand I dislike fires a person I dislike. Awesome.
  • 1 Hide
    mman74 , April 1, 2011 2:45 AM
    Did you know him schmich, I mean personally, beyond what you might have read in the press, or do you form your opinions of people based on 3rd-party reporting?
  • -3 Hide
    f-14 , April 1, 2011 7:51 AM
    HAPPY APRIL FOOLS TOMS HARDWARE
    microsoft out did you changing my date to may 1st when the clock rolled over, was trying to figure out how microsoft security essentials said its virus definition was out of date and hadn't been scanned in 7 days yet it had the same definition number when i hit update and had just let it scan the previous night!
    ooh hahahahaha very funny microsoft!
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , April 1, 2011 9:49 AM
    So the world is moving into tablets, the CEO says they should be betting into it as well to stop being left behind in such a lucrative market, the stuffy old board decide they want to be cautious so the CEO resigns.

    Acer will end up falling by the wayside because they ignored good advice.

    If I was the CEO I would resign too and see if I could get a job at a company with vision and backbone.
  • 0 Hide
    starryman , April 1, 2011 5:08 PM
    Acer could easily make a tablet. Besides HP and Dell are going to make their own tablets too. Just another product to sell. Acer doesn't innovate so why change things. The CEO needs to go.
  • 1 Hide
    rohitbaran , April 1, 2011 5:28 PM
    So, this is the second casualty of companies trying to Applefy. The first one was AMD's CEO.
  • 0 Hide
    borisof007 , April 1, 2011 5:40 PM
    April Fools?
  • 1 Hide
    verbalizer , April 1, 2011 6:16 PM
    who cares..
  • 1 Hide
    eddieroolz , April 1, 2011 7:35 PM
    Acer is great. Too bad the board feels like following Apple's footsteps.
  • 0 Hide
    awan2009 , April 1, 2011 7:44 PM
    Until Acer comes up with cheap tablet (or maybe revolutionary design), don't think to compete with Apple.
  • 0 Hide
    thegame8019 , April 1, 2011 8:09 PM
    Acer's aren't bad they have actually been one of the most dependable pc's that I maintain. Though I don't like the idea of the switching gears to compete with apple, they are on a strong steady dependable path why ruin themselves.
  • 0 Hide
    cookoy , April 1, 2011 8:14 PM
    the strategy before was to gain market share at the expense of profit margin by selling cheaper, lower cost, lower quality products. at only 2.3% margin, acer had to sell 8x more to be on par with apple. a lot more work for fewer profit.
  • -1 Hide
    ericburnby , April 1, 2011 8:56 PM
    I guess the board of directors at Acer must be a bunch of idiots. Forget the fact they all have degrees (several are PhD's) and studied in the areas of business, engineering and marketing. Forget they all have extensive experience working for and directing the operations of large multi-billion dollar companies.

    They need to do one thing to help Acer prosper:

    LISTEN TO THE EXPERT'S AT TOM'S who clearly know more about the computer business than they do. Pay special attention to the Apple hater, as they are most intelligent of the lot.
  • 0 Hide
    HavoCnMe , April 1, 2011 10:05 PM
    "Can't fix stupid"

    How's that $1,599 WWDC ticket feel in your hand?
    You will probably frame it and show your kids someday, meanwhile Apple is laughing all the way to the bank.

    If you get offended then i succeeded.
  • 0 Hide
    omnimodis78 , April 1, 2011 10:14 PM
    ^^ best comment in a long time!!!
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , April 1, 2011 10:42 PM
    Publicly trading a company results in idiot shareholders and idiot boards of directors who get these crazy ideas that they can do something, then the force the crazy idea down peoples throats that wind up destabilizing the company, and costing thousands of people their jobs. The shareholders then sell-sell-sell, and the board pulls the ripcord to their golden parachute, and let's someone else clean up the mess. The idea that everyone can be Apple is as ludicrous as the idea that everyone can be Ferrari(no disrespect to Ferrari).

    This ranks up there with AMD's idiot board of directors thinking AMD could/should/would make a viable cellphone CPU. They'd do just as well to diversify into making cars as they would cellphone chips, just look at Intel's utter lack of design wins for billions of dollars in research and development.
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , April 1, 2011 11:59 PM
    Acer will most likely never be an Apple... that required innovation. ACER is a parts company that puts them together and sells basic boxes with paid-for bloat ware.
  • 0 Hide
    ElMoIsEviL , April 2, 2011 12:41 AM
    Yep...

    Now we see Capitalism destroy creativity (user customization) as well as technological feats.

    From now on a Technological feat will be to release an initial product at a given price and then 3 months later re-release the same product in a different color and slightly updated look/feel. Maybe include a new "Sticker".

    Watch as a bunch of folks go out and buy the initial product and then the re-release.

    Ahh crApple.
  • 0 Hide
    ericburnby , April 2, 2011 3:21 PM
    HavoCnMe"Can't fix stupid"How's that $1,599 WWDC ticket feel in your hand? You will probably frame it and show your kids someday, meanwhile Apple is laughing all the way to the bank.If you get offended then i succeeded.

    You're in a bar and go up to a guy you don't like and punch him in the face. He just stands there looking at you and you ask him:

    "Did that hurt?"

    If you have to ask, then you've already lost.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , April 2, 2011 4:46 PM
    back_by_demandSo the world is moving into tablets, the CEO says they should be betting into it as well to stop being left behind in such a lucrative market, the stuffy old board decide they want to be cautious so the CEO resigns.Acer will end up falling by the wayside because they ignored good advice.If I was the CEO I would resign too and see if I could get a job at a company with vision and backbone.

    Amazing, the story was totally the wrong way round - but kudos for fixing the mistake.

    In this instance I now think the board was right and the CEO was an idiot who will be lucky to get a job selling beige-box PCs in Frys.
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