updated 11:20 pm EDT, Tue May 10, 2011
Acer denies ex chief Lanci's claims on failure
Acer shot back at its ex-CEO Gianfranco Lanci's claims that their nationalism held the company back with a statement later on Tuesday. The PC builder rejected the notion that Lanci had been thwarted in countering the iPad by Taiwan executives' refusal to hire more foreign engineers. It also didn't see the CEO's nationality as a problem and cared only about whether its leader could foster long-term growth, which Lanci couldn't based on Digitimes' account of events.
The commentary instead blamed Lanci almost exclusively for its poor mobile performance. Whatever explanations he was giving out of the CEO position, he hadn't given any reasons for sub-par performance in fall 2010 and winter 2011, Acer said. Tablets were too early to gauge, but even the smartphone business saw overstock of devices like the Liquid Metal as well as financial trouble.
When touching on the performance of its Iconia Tab A500, Acer also denied that it was late to the tablet market because of its lack of engineers. The firm claimed to be proud of being second only to the Motorola Xoom in Android 3.0 tablet shipments despite Motorola having delivered just 250,000 Xooms in the first quarter of the year, or just over five percent of what Apple managed with the iPad.
Lanci hadn't responded to Acer's counterargument as of Monday night.
Acer's comments appeared to sidestep Lanci's larger argument that it was important to compete in the context of the iPad and not just a subset of the market. Many of the company's other top executives, including chairman JT Wang, also repeatedly insisted that the iPad was having no effect on netbook sales despite it becoming clearer that Apple was cutting in. Even as late as February, just two weeks before the iPad 2 was unveiled, Wang believed the iPad would cease to be a factor and that netbook sales would bounce back in step with the rise of Acer's first tablets.