Acer CEO quits over product development disagreements [Updated]

Mar 31, 2011
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Acer CEO quits over product development disagreements [Updated]

Acer CEO and President Gianfranco Lanci has resigned, stepping down from the company with immediate effect. Acer claims the change - which will see chairman J.T. Wang take the acting CEO role in the interim - was down to Lanci holding "different views from a majority of the board members" which "could not reach a consensus following several months’ of dialog."

Lanci and the Acer board "placed different levels of importance on scale, growth, customer value creation, brand position enhancement, and on resource allocation and methods of implementation." The company has struggled to differentiate its new tablet and smartphone range from the competition, especially in the tablet segment which Apple's iPad dominates.

Although not spelled out in Acer's release, it appears that Lanci could have held more ambitious intentions for mobile devices than the board was comfortable with. Wang says Acer will "invest cautiously" in such products from now on, and that "the personal computer remains the core of our business."

Update: Acer has announced a new EMEA president, Walter Deppeler. Full press release below.

Press Release:

Acer CEO and President Gianfranco Lanci resigns

With immediate effect

TAIPEI, TAIWAN (March 31, 2011) – Acer CEO and President Gianfranco Lanci has resigned from the company, with immediate effect. Acer Chairman J.T. Wang takes acting role in the interim. The company has commenced with the planning of organizational and operational adjustments for the sustainable future of Acer.

The resignation was approved at a meeting of Acer’s Board of Directors today, and the company has communicated internally with its worldwide employees.

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

The change does not affect current operations which are functioning as normal. Acer’s strong management team of multi-nationals has been well-informed and is committed to overseeing and implementing the company strategies, as does the amicable company relations with industry partners persist. Acer will continue to push for globalization, follow its multi-brand and channel business model, develop competitive products and services, and foster closer relations with key vendors and channel partners.

Acer Chairman, J.T. Wang expresses, “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.”

“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.”

In his role as President and CEO, Lanci has contributed significantly toward Acer’s growth. The company expresses its true appreciation for Lanci’s efforts and wishes him all the best in his future endeavours.

Press Release:

New Acer EMEA President – Walter Deppeler

TAIPEI, TAIWAN (March 31, 2011) – Acer announces the appointment of Acer Deputy President of Acer EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), Walter Deppeler as the new Acer EMEA President, with immediate effect.
Gianfranco Lanci, who served as both CEO and President of Acer Inc., and President of Acer EMEA, resigned from the company on March 31. Hence, Walter Deppeler becomes new President of Acer EMEA.
Born in Baden in 1957, Deppeler joined Acer in 1997, and currently serves as Senior Corporate Vice President of Acer Inc. and as Deputy President of Acer EMEA. He has extensive sales and marketing experience in the region, and has contributed significantly toward Acer’s growth.
Deppeler will take over the strong foundation in EMEA laid by Lanci, and lead the EMEA management team to pursue further growth. EMEA is Acer’s largest market, and where our notebooks rank No. 1.


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