updated 08:25 am EST, Tue February 7, 2012
Acer thinks CEO violated non-compete clause
Acer was reported Tuesday as having sued its ousted former CEO Gianfranco Lanci. The Taiwan PC builder claimed in an Italian court that Lanci broke a non-compete clause by signing with Lenovo and working for a direct rival. Neither Lanci nor Lenovo had responded to the accusations.
Non-compete clauses are frequent for higher-profile employees at technology firms, although they're not always enforceable depending on the country or even the individual state or province. Lanci is likely to contend that the clause wasn't necessarily valid or was unfair.
The CEO was forced out in March of last year for what other executives saw at the time as a failure to deal with the iPad, as the company kept to its longstanding emphases on cheap notebooks and netbooks, both of which were eroded by Apple. Lanci had countered that he wanted to counter Apple but had been curbed by nationalism that prevented him from getting the non-Taiwanese teams he needed to improve Acer's prospects.
Acer has since put much more focus on tablets and has moved away from entry-level notebooks to ultrabooks and other, more valuable PCs.