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Acer CEO resigns suddenly amid conflict with board, Apple

updated 05:35 am EDT, Thu March 31, 2011

Not quite yet a “post-PC” world at Acer

Acer CEO and President Gianfranco Lanci has resigned with immediate effect according to a press release issued by the company on its global website. The shake up has resulted in Acer Chairman J.T. Wang moving in as interim CEO. Lanci had "different views from a majority of the board members, and could not reach a consensus following several months' of dialog," the company said.

Further, Acer added that differences stemmed from an inability to agree on the "...scale, growth, customer value creation, brand position enhancement, and on resource allocation and methods of implementation." This appears to leave very little in terms of what Lanci and the Acer board may actually have agreed upon.

A clue as to what precipitated Lanci's demise may be read into J.T. Wang's statement. "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," Wang said. "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."

Traditionally, Acer's core business has been the PC. Its notebooks, netbooks and desktops have formed the bulk of its sales. Despite this, Lanci has gone on the record with claims that Acer wanted to overtake Apple in the tablet space in 2 to 3 years. It currently has plans to ship a number of mobile devices and had claimed that orders for these in its supply chain exceeded its ability to meet them. However, it appears that despite this apparent good news, Lanci's aggressive plans for the mobile segment did not align with the views of the Acer board.

Acer's new interim CEO J.T. Wang has stated publicly that the success of the iPad has been an irrational success and that consumers will soon 'return to their senses' and go back to traditional PCs. Wang may have an ally in Microsoft's research and strategy chief Craig Mundie who has also cast doubt on the long-term viability of tablets. Regardless, Mundie did admit that Microsoft had missed the boat on the differentiation between the mobile and portable segments, highlighted by Apple's success in with the iPhone and iPad that now comprise the majority of Apple's revenue.

by MacNN Staff




  1. global.philosopher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Probably caught with an iPad in his briefcase

    your comment

  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    In Other Words

    Acer has publicly announced its death wish while stroking its Wang.

  1. Bartman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "consumers will soon ‘return to their senses’ and go back to traditional PCs"

    did he just call all his customers crazy for not buying his garbage?

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Holy Cow!

    I read a statement only the other day from Lanci, and thought that this guy actually had a reasonable grasp of the future of computing. That Acer and Microsoft both think the existing paradigm will continue indefinitely is ostrich-like in the extreme.

    Something these companies simply don't get is that the majority of average users never wanted a computer to begin with. They wanted an appliance that worked with the simplicity and reliability of a microwave oven to do the basics of what a computer can provide; e-mail, internet and entertainment. They never wanted to become rocket scientists or to have to need to call one every so often. Touch and an invisible operating system make the new computing devices exactly what many people wanted all along. Just ask your mother.

  1. kerryb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Acer commits suicide

    We don't like what the future is shaping into, therefore we will buckle down, stick our collected heads in the sand and wait for time to start running backwards to the good old days of the 1990's when the PC was king ...

  1. DeezNutts

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Gianfranco Lanci just might have been the last hope for Acer.

    I mean I would never expect Acer to overtake Apple in the tablet or mobile space, but at least the guy recognized the changing tides and was working double time to turn the ship Acer around as quickly as possible.

    They were probably screwed to begin with, but are really screwed without him.

  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is the difference...

    This makes perfectly clear the vast differences between Steve Jobs and most other CEOs. Jobs is willing to bet the farm, take a leap of faith, journey into uncharted territory, control his own destiny. Other CEOs work hard to maintain the status quo. They can't see the future coming like Jobs can. h***, Jobs creates his own future for that matter, and he NEVER gives up trying. Tech CEOs have been caught with their pants down around their knees on smartphones and tablets and they are livid, apoplectic. Hence the irrational rhetoric lately. Kinda fun to watch actually.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I have nothing against Windows because I'm

    sure it's a very capable OS for those that need all the capabilities it has to offer, but claiming that the average consumer needs to run a full desktop OS on a daily basis seems a bit extreme. I like to use Microsoft Word for all the features it has, but I could just as soon use something as simple as MacWrite for 95% of the tasks I do. I don't know why these Acer people think that consumers have "lost their senses" because they enjoy using iPads. So many consumers just want easy to use computing devices I suppose because there's less to learn and less to go wrong. I'm not saying four- and five-year old children couldn't use a Windows desktop computer, but I'm sure they'd prefer using an iPad because it would be more intuitive to them.

  1. vintagegeek

    Joined: Dec 1969


    One Trick Ponies

    Have to watch out if you only sell one product. It doesn't take much to jeopadize your fortunes. eh, Nokia, RIM, ???

  1. facebook_Mel

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2011


    It's very clear

    that companies missing out in the tablet space are denigrating tablets because they're hoping to create doubt and confusion as to whether they should be bought.

    Acer fears moving into that space heavily because it's an area they don't know well, and they're hoping that staying with what they know and have been successful with until lately, will pull them out of their big mess.

    MS, on the other hand, is spreading FUD because they are hoping to slow the stampede to the iPad, and to a lessor extent Android tablets, while they get Windows 8 out the door, which they have confidence in as a successful tablet OS of their own, the way they did with XP, Vista, and now Win 7, all of which essentially failed at it. Once Win 8 comes out, they will be showing prototype tablets, and proclaiming the same nonsense they have been saying for Win 7. The question is what they will be saying if that doesn't take off either.

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