updated 10:04 am EST, Tue November 5, 2013
Acer loses $446 million as PC sales slow
J.T. Wang, the at times outspoken CEO and chairman of Acer, will step down from the CEO spot on January 1, 2014, Engadget China reported on Tuesday. Wang will retain his position as chairman with the company until 2014 in order to fulfill remaining commitments. Wang will be succeeded by Acer president Jim Wong, who will look to reverse the company's recent struggles with stagnating PC sales.
The departing Wang was known largely for his outspokenness. Wang insisted in 2011 that any damage the iPad was doing to Acer's netbook sales was only temporary and would end within months. More recently, Wang told Microsoft to think twice about its move to enter Windows hardware manufacture with its Surface tablets. Wang at the time said that Microsoft's move would almost certainly engender strife between the software giant and its Windows-licensing manufacturer partners.
The fourth-largest PC maker in the world, Acer has seen its revenues dropping in the face of a wider decline in the PC market. Most recently, Acer posted a $446 million net loss for the third quarter, and the company announced plans to cut seven percent of its staff in order to save $100 million in annual operating expenses.
Acer saw shipments drop 22.6 percent year-over-year for the quarter. This steep decline was due in large part to the bottom dropping out of the netbook market. Acer's business depends in large part on consumers remaining interested in the low-cost, low-power netbook segment, but analyses have shown that devices like the iPad are much better capable of meeting consumer demand, and the netbook has suffered commensurately with the rise of tablets.
Acer's own efforts in the mobile segment have underperformed, as well. The company remains one of the largest tablet producers in the world, but its share of shipments dropped last quarter. One possible factor: the company's perpetually low customer satisfaction scores.