Acer CEO Resigns as Board Wants to be Apple

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.”

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • schmich
    So a brand I dislike fires a person I dislike. Awesome.
  • mman74
    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?
  • f-14
    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!
  • back_by_demand
    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.
  • starryman
    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.
  • rohitbaran
    So, this is the second casualty of companies trying to Applefy. The first one was AMD's CEO.
  • borisof007
    April Fools?
  • verbalizer
    who cares..
  • eddieroolz
    Acer is great. Too bad the board feels like following Apple's footsteps.
  • awan2009
    Until Acer comes up with cheap tablet (or maybe revolutionary design), don't think to compete with Apple.