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Former Acer CEO and President Gianfranco Lanci.  (Source: crunchgear.com)
Could not agree with Acer board members on direction of company

Gianfranco Lanci, the president and CEO of Acer has resigned from the company, effective immediately.

According to a press release dated today from Taiwan's leading PC supplier, Lanci had a different vision for the future direction of the company from Acer's board of directors. "They placed different levels of importance on scale, growth, customer value creation, brand position enhancement, and on resource allocation and methods of implementation," the statement said.

The two parties could not come to an agreement despite months of dialogue. Effective immediately, Acer Chairman J.T. Wang will fill in for Lanci in the interim.

"In this new ICT industry," Wang said, "Acer needs a period of time for adjustment. With the spirit of entrepreneurship, we will face new challenges and look to the future with confidence."

The company expressed appreciation for Lanci's "significant" contributions "toward Acer's growth," and wished him "all the best in his future endeavors."

The shakeup comes just two days after CENS.com reported that Acer founder Stan Shih urged the company to revamp its operations to focus on higher profit margins instead of PC-market domination. 

Acer revised its sales targets downward for the second straight quarter -- from a 3-percent profit to a 10-percent decline -- which prompted the remarks from Shih, who cited the "new perspective" that Apple's products have brought to the tech field.

Acer's plans for the last few years have been to become the global leader in PC shipments. The company successfully booted Dell from the #2 spot last July, but slipped back in the following quarter.

Shih said that Acer should mimic Apple by also servicing its own products, rather than tirelessly pursuing volume growth. 



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Well
By MeesterNid on 3/31/2011 10:20:00 AM , Rating: 3
There seems to be very little differentiation between the PC OEMs out there in terms of the fact that they all build basically the same machines...save for Asus and/or Sony perhaps. I'm not sure what "innovation" they can be doing...I suppose use better plastics in the cases?




RE: Well
By Pessimism on 3/31/2011 10:57:21 AM , Rating: 2
That would be a good start actually. From my experience their plastics don't hold up well at all. Look at any 2-3 year old acer and you will usually see cracks forming around hinges or screw holes, try to take one apart and youll have broken plastic snaps galore and one or more broken/stripped screw posts inside.


RE: Well
By Taft12 on 3/31/2011 12:53:29 PM , Rating: 2
Better plastics mean higher costs, which means higher retail prices. If it's $50 more than the low-end Dell, HP, Toshiba, etc (all equally trash), you won't get the sales volume. Consumers in the market Acer competes in are looking for one thing and one thing only - the lowest possible price, quality be damned.


RE: Well
By MrBlastman on 3/31/2011 3:54:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
lowest possible price, quality be damned


Acer bought Packard Hell (Bell). It's one thing to say quality be damned, but Packard Bell set new standards for the worst of the worst.

And... that begs my next point. The guy who just quit is the same guy that approved Acer's purchase of Packard Bell a few years ago...


RE: Well
By inighthawki on 4/1/2011 12:30:41 AM , Rating: 2
I have an old (6ish, maybe 7) year old low-end Acer laptop, that has received quite a bit of use. I used to carry it everywhere for development between classes, etc. It's still in fine condition minus maybe some faded coloring of the plastic, but certainly no cracks or other physical damage.


acer's problem
By Pessimism on 3/31/2011 10:17:49 AM , Rating: 1
They built their empire on highly streamlined mass production of essentially unsupported garbage. The problem is that all the other laptop makers now mass produce garbage at similar price points, so they no longer have the cheapest of the cheap market segment to themselves. They are victims of their own success.




RE: acer's problem
By MeesterNid on 3/31/2011 10:22:00 AM , Rating: 2
Solution - build better garbage.


RE: acer's problem
By Samus on 3/31/2011 10:31:55 AM , Rating: 2
You can't base your entire business model on profiting from $300 netbooks. The margins are too thin, and even if you sell a million of them, its probably on par with the same net profit Apple of Lenovo have selling a fraction that of MacBooks or T400's...

They have no viable mid-range (saturated market) or high-end (Acer name wont sell) so their best bet is to improve the quality of their low end to make them stand out (perhaps make a decent keyboard for once?)


funny...
By inperfectdarkness on 3/31/2011 11:03:46 AM , Rating: 2
i think i'll buy another MSI for my next laptop. i'm tired of the BS of buying rebadged clevos, etc.




RE: funny...
By mxnerd on 4/1/2011 4:35:18 AM , Rating: 2
Don't! Buy ASUS instead.

MSI = Might Suck Indefinitely.


I disagree I have bought a couple acers
By rudy on 3/31/2011 12:06:55 PM , Rating: 2
They have decent prices the most important thing is you do not need to wait for a deal to get them, you goto any place and just buy it at the good price. You can get dell or HP laptops at similar prices but you have to know to look for it and wait for deals. Most of the average consumer do not know what is and is not a good deal so the Acers look attractive to them right off the bat.

I also think it is stupid for them to change directions just for a couple down quarters they were doing very well and they unlike dell and HP probably have a much better position in the high growth Indian and Chinese markets.

If you want to make money like apple you have to trick people into thinking you have something different how apple does that is with an OS that is different is Acer going to make a new OS? There are already so many high end high profit brands what are they going to do to make themself stick out?




By captainBOB on 3/31/2011 12:53:02 PM , Rating: 2
That's gonna be the tough part for Acer, in order to "be like Apple" they're going to have to differentiate themselves from the rest of the high end. Apple does this by having Mac OS X and aluminum case designs that other OEMs shamelessly emulate (looking at you HP).


By Taft12 on 3/31/2011 12:52:35 PM , Rating: 2
The laptop market has been in a race to the bottom for years now. They've reached the bottom and look at the results for Acer.

At least Dell, HP, Lenovo have high-margin corporate machines and high-end consumer models in addition to their zero-margin trash. Acer ONLY has zero-margin trash. I don't see any way Acer changes their fortunes.




Had decent products
By Visual on 4/3/2011 6:24:33 AM , Rating: 2
Acer had some very nice thing going with the Timeline series, using CULV CPUs for great battery life, with switchable graphic options. The only competition really was the similar Asus line UL50VG, UL80VT etc. But Asus used slow nVidia cards and didn't update quick enough to match the Acer performance.
Update those for Sandy Bridge and you'll be a winner again, Acer.

There was also the tablet 1820ptz that I was dead-set on getting, but it never became available where I am. Acer's own fault that it lost my purchase there.
But make a sandy-bridge ultra-portable tablet convertible now, and you'll have me again. Or a version with switchable graphics, even if it's a bit larger, I'd like that too.

Their policy might be low-margin to make stuff affordable, but they still sell extras like extended warranty which I guess most people would buy, and that's pure profit if their products are quality and don't break.




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