Acer CEO Lanci to leave firm over strategy differences

Acer CEO Lanci to leave firm over strategy differences

Taipei: Taiwanese notebook maker Acer said on Thursday its chief executive, Gianfranco Lanci, will leave the company with immediate effect due to differences over future strategy, with chairman J T Wang taking over in an acting role.

“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 dialogue," an Acer statement said.

“They placed different levels of importance on scale, growth, customer value creation, brand position enhancement, and on resource allocation and methods of implementation."

The surprise news came after shares of Acer plunged 17.6% in the four days since it said first-quarter sales would be worse than expected and second quarter sales would be flat.

Acer had reported a fourth quarter profit below expectations, affected, it said, by unfavourable weather and economic conditions in Europe.

The latest sales forecast also triggered a wave of analyst downgrades.

Citi said in a report earlier this weak that Acer’s weak first-quarter sales did not come as a surprise, what concerned them more was the company’s continuous missing of guidance.

Citi called Acer the biggest victim of the tablet PC cannibalisation of the consumer notebook segment in developed markets, and it expected Acer to become a much smaller company in the next few years if the market for tablet PCs surpassed that for notebook PCs.

Acer’s founder, Stan Shih, said earlier this week that Acer needed a new wave of re-engineering and should place importance on raising profit ahead of being No.1 in sales, Taiwan media reported.

Lanci joined Acer in 1997 after it took over the notebook division of Texas Instruments, for whom Lanci worked at the time. He became CEO in 2008.

He has been credited with helping Acer make the world’s No.2 spot through a focus on low-cost laptops.