Acer Boss Resigns After Clash With Board

The boss of Acer has resigned after clashing with the board over the future direction of the company

The man in charge of one of the world’s largest PC makers has resigned after clashing with the board of directors over the future direction of the company.

In a press release, the Taiwan-based computer giant Acer revealed that its CEO and president Gianfranco Lanci had resigned with immediate effect.

“Acer CEO and President Gianfranco Lanci has resigned from the company, with immediate effect,” said the PC maker. “Acer Chairman J.T. Wang takes acting role in the interim. The company has commenced with the planning of organisational and operational adjustments for the sustainable future of Acer.”

Boardroom Clash

“The resignation was approved at a meeting of Acer’s Board of Directors today, and the company has communicated internally with its worldwide employees,” the statement reads, and then talks about the clash between Lanci and the board, but without going into any specifics.

“On the company’s future development, Lanci (pictured) held different views from a majority of the board members, and could not reach a consensus following several months’ of dialogue. They placed different levels of importance on scale, growth, customer value creation, brand position enhancement, and on resource allocation and methods of implementation,” the company said.

Acer also sought to reassure customers and the markets that the change would not affect current operations, and that it would remain focused on the channel model. Acer has achieved success in the European market with its laptop range, but is perhaps best known for its netbook portfolio.

During the fourth quarter of 2010, Gartner ranked Acer as the second-biggest PC maker, although IDC put Acer in third place.

Netbook Squeeze

In January this year Acer revealed plans to introduce two or three tablet computers during 2011, a move that it was thought would allow the company to eventually phase out netbooks altogether, although Acer has denied this.

Despite this, there is little doubt that the netbook form factor has been under severe pressure following the sudden success of the tablet, and particularly the Apple iPad. Indeed Gartner has already warned that the iPad and tablets will hurt PC sales.

Acer for its part has already attempted to enter the tablet market, but was forced to discontinue an earlier 12-inch device in July 2010, after it sold less than 300 units in a month.

But Gianfranco Lanci signalled his determination to try again in October 2010, when he confirmed that a family of tablet computers were on the way, some running Microsoft’s Windows platform and others running Android.

Best Wishes

Meanwhile J.T Wang will lead the PC maker for the time being, as it seeks a new boss.

“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,” said Acer chairman, J.T. Wang. “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.”

“In this new ICT industry,” added 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.”

Acer said that Lanci had contributed significantly toward Acer’s growth, and it expressed its true appreciation for Lanci’s efforts and wished him all the best in his future endeavours.

The resignation of Lanci has also meant that there has been a management reshuffle in Europe.

Besides being CEO of the entire company, Lanci also served as President of Acer EMEA, which is the largest market for the PC maker. Lanci’s position there has been taken by Walter Deppeler, who was appointed new Acer EMEA President, with immediate effect.