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.