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Stan Shih
Acer founder Stan Shih has come out of retirement and returned to the company

Acer Inc.'s CEO resigned less than a month ago. Now, it has lost yet another CEO -- and the company's founder is taking matters into his own hands.

According to a new report from Bloomberg, Acer President Jim Wong -- who was set to take over as CEO at the beginning of next year -- has resigned. He will not take on the CEO position in 2014.

To fill the gap, Acer founder Stan Shih has come out of retirement and returned to the company as chairman and president. 

In fact, Shih has scrapped the CEO role entirely. There will only be the chairman and president roles, both of which Shih is currently filling until new candidates come along to take over.

Shih started Acer in 1976, and finally entered retirement nine years ago. His return marks the trouble Acer is in, and the fact that the company could use some guidance. 

The good days for Acer were about four to five years ago. It became the largest laptop company by the first quarter of 2010 after buying up competition like Gateway Inc., Packard-Bell and eMachines. 

But once new devices came around, like Apple's iPad (introduced in early 2010), Acer's notebooks didn't seem as appealing. An explosion of tablets has hit the scene since, and now wearable devices are the next phase of the tech evolution. Acer has clearly fallen behind as the PC industry continues to shrink.

For Q3 2013, Acer posted a wider-than-expected net loss of T$13.12 billion ($446 million USD). Analysts only expected a loss of around T$109 million for the quarter. Acer's PC sales also dropped by almost 35 percent in the quarter as well.

Acer added that there was an intangible asset impairment loss of T$9.94 billion for Q3, which includes trademarks and goodwill. As a result, the company plans to cut its global staff by 7 percent in an effort to save $100 million in annual operating expenses. 

As a result of that poor quarter, former Acer CEO J.T. Wang resigned at the beginning of November. Wong was set to step in in the beginning of 2014, but he has also stepped down. 

Now we'll just have to wait and Shih.  

Source: Bloomberg

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By Motoman on 11/21/2013 12:41:47 PM , Rating: 2
Acer built it's success on the backs of laptops with impressive specs for little money. Which means that margins were very, very tight.

You can run on really tight margins forever...granted that volume stays up.

Obviously, traditional computing devices (desktop and laptop computers) have been declining, while new formfactors of computers have been ramping up (tablets, smartphones, convertibles).

Acer makes all of these things. Apparently they don't compete well in those segments though...for whatever reason. Maybe just marketing...I have no idea.

But it's clear that their low margin/high volume model based on laptops that floated them for so long has now failed, and they've also failed to accommodate the market change appropriately by filling that void with the other products that they produce.

I would guess that the correct course of action would be to de-emphasize the laptop product line and put more of a push behind the new form-factors...which, as noted, they already have. The problem there, of course, is that the smartphone and tablet markets are also probably running at really low margin rates as a whole. The convertible market is probably better, margin-wise.

RE: Oops
By greenchinesepuck on 11/21/13, Rating: -1
RE: Oops
By Motoman on 11/21/2013 2:04:36 PM , Rating: 2
Nice try Pirks.

People are avoiding Windows 8, that's for sure. But not because it's "stale." If they'd made it "stale" - which is to say, very much like Windows 7, which was very much like Vista, which was very much like XP, etc. - then they'd probably be perfectly fine.

RE: Oops
By greenchinesepuck on 11/21/13, Rating: -1
RE: Oops
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/22/13, Rating: 0
RE: Oops
By Samus on 11/22/13, Rating: 0
RE: Oops
By Strunf on 11/22/2013 4:01:48 AM , Rating: 3
I can't speak for everyone but Windows 8 on desktop, specially at work brings 0 benefits over Windows 7 while bringing a load of drawback when operated on a non touch sensitive device.

The single FACT it jumps into desktop when you start an application is already a clear evidence that Metro isn't for everything.

RE: Oops
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/22/2013 10:54:56 AM , Rating: 1
Windows 8 sux and Windows 8/1 ain't really that much better. Here's why :

A simple picture is worth a thousand words.

That is a screen shot of my 1920 x 1080 monitor.

All I want to do is pop up a calculator, do some 'rithmetic and paste the result into a text field. Where's my text field?

Yeah, really smart design.

RE: Oops
By greenchinesepuck on 11/22/2013 3:47:13 PM , Rating: 3
you suck 'cause you don't even know how to run desktop calc instead of the metro calc. lamer.

RE: Oops
By BansheeX on 11/25/2013 4:45:37 AM , Rating: 2
Why is there a metro calc? Why is there a metro anything? IT'S A DESKTOP

RE: Oops
By greenchinesepuck on 11/25/2013 6:59:46 AM , Rating: 2
because some metro things like start screen can be useful even on a desktop, and the things that are not useful do not interfere with desktop UI at all

RE: Oops
By Apone on 11/21/2013 2:29:01 PM , Rating: 2
@ greenchinesepuck

That must be why Lenovo continues to enjoy phenomenal growth despite a declining PC industry, having had 18 consecutive quarters of growth which has outperformed the industry overall.

RE: Oops
By greenchinesepuck on 11/21/2013 3:29:23 PM , Rating: 2
tell this good news to MS windows division that sees their revenue going down for many quarters already

RE: Oops
By Apone on 11/21/2013 3:47:35 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure the folks at Microsoft are well aware of Lenovo's continued success. Whether or not Microsoft's OS division continues to decline in revenue, it still disproves your hollow claim that Microsoft and Microsoft's Windows OS is the sole culprit to the apparent decline of the PC industry.

RE: Oops
By StevoLincolnite on 11/21/2013 6:54:36 PM , Rating: 3
The PC gaming industry is still growing rapidly too, Steam for instance is seeing 60-70% or more yearly growth with active users.

It's all the business machines and regular joe's still hanging onto their older Windows XP/Vista/7 machines. - Only so much hardware and OS you need for basic tasks such as word processing, email and facebook. (Hint, pretty much any PC made within the last 6-7 years can handle it.)

RE: Oops
By greenchinesepuck on 11/21/2013 8:09:24 PM , Rating: 1
That's not PC growing, that's Steam growing which can happen even when PC is declining (which is the case)

As for gaming, iPad Air seems to pwn everyone else as a gaming platform, selection of quality games there (XCOM, KOTOR, Frozen Synapse etc etc etc) is truly staggering and is growing quickly.

iPad Air is the first thing in my life I saw in the store, tried and realized THIS IS A FUKING GAMING PC IN MY POCKET! Holy Sh1t! I'd never believe that just two years ago, but now with all those games flooding iPad... man, PC is done as a gaming platform, iPad is The Gaming Future.

I saw it first! Well ok maybe Tony and TakingPoint saw it before me :P And Mototroll will be the very last one to realize that, I can guarantee ya! with retro being second to last haha and reclaimer will probably just shoot himself when he realizes this, so say bye to him folks while he is still with us lol :)))

RE: Oops
By spekter on 11/22/2013 1:41:42 AM , Rating: 2

Wait a minute... Did you just compare an iPad air with a real gaming rig?


Yea ok, so maby your PC...

I would love to see an iPad air, or any tablet for that mater (not just hating on the iStuff here). Crank some BF3 or BF4, Black Flag, Skyrim, The Witcher 2, or any real PC game on respectable graphics settings.

RE: Oops
By Cheesew1z69 on 11/22/2013 8:46:08 AM , Rating: 2
I'd really recommend not feeding the troll... this one is a hungry one.

RE: Oops
By greenchinesepuck on 11/22/2013 3:50:25 PM , Rating: 2
Crank some BF3 or BF4, Black Flag, Skyrim, The Witcher 2, or any real PC game on respectable graphics settings
So the XCOM or KOTOR or Frozen Synapse as totally mature modern PC games running 100% smooth and beautiful on iPad Air are not good for you? Why?

RE: Oops
By StevoLincolnite on 11/23/2013 12:52:58 AM , Rating: 2
The iPad doesn't even know what real graphics are.
Get back to me when the iPad is running games natively at 4k resolution with incredible levels of graphical fidelity like StarCitizen or Crysis 3 or Metro: Last Light or Battlefield 4.

RE: Oops
By greenchinesepuck on 11/24/2013 2:59:26 PM , Rating: 2
The iPad doesn't even know what real graphics are
As if it's relevant at all these days. Ask Crytek why they stopped pushing GPU visuals and switched to online and console. Your naïve PC GPU power uber alles beliefs will suffer a blow then but it's better to get back to earth than being disconnected from reality like you are man. It's not 2000 man, the PC GPU is not that relevant anymore, console and mobile games get most of the money these days, and the remainder PC games mostly don't care about GPU at all. Steam is FLOODED with games with mediocre graphics which are not able and will not be able to reach the level of visual fidelity of original Crysis that was released SIX YEARS AGO. Does it preclude Steam from thriving? Not even a tiny amount! Steam is thriving because vast majority of people do not give a damn about latest $1000 GPU from NVidia or something.

So for these people, for the vast majority of the market, the iPad Air is the ideal gaming machine, hands down. There is nothing like it on the market that combines such a rich library of quality 3D games (including many excellent PC ports like XCOM or Walking Dead or KOTOR, etc etc etc...) with feather weight, super high quality screen, fastest mobile CPU and GPU in the world, battery life/longevity, thickness, build quality and totally adequate price starting form just $399, this is exactly the same or lower than high end Android or Windows RT tablets cost.

I wish your delusion were true, I wish market en masse did really care about GPU power. I am too, like you, kind of sad that these GPU race days are over, but such is life. I already accepted it and switching to mobile gaming on my brand new Tegra Note, and you are still left behind. Looks like you will be dragged in the future by Apple like gazillions of other mototrolls who were screaming and crying... and ended up buying an iPhone or iPad like everyone else with an income :P Sorry man, didn't want to hurt ya feelings, really

RE: Oops
By ritualm on 11/21/2013 2:56:29 PM , Rating: 2
Windows doesn't make Acer computers suck.
Acer makes its computers suck.

It won't matter if Acer becomes an Android or even iOS OEM, because its hardware by and large sucked.

Once again, Pirks isn't making any sense, and he keeps changing goalposts to further his inane arguments. Hello Reclaimer77 2.0.

RE: Oops
By Motoman on 11/21/2013 2:58:42 PM , Rating: 2
Actually I've had a lot of experience with Acer laptops. Have been using one myself for the past couple years.

They've been great. And they cost a lot less than other similarly-speced machines. Which is what leads me to believe they have been running on very thin margins.

RE: Oops
By greenchinesepuck on 11/21/2013 3:26:09 PM , Rating: 2
yeah I've got me a nice acer v5 touch screen notebook with windows 8.1 for cheap but I understand I'm in minority here since US consumers buy ipads in droves, not those acers, times are changin' man

RE: Oops
By greenchinesepuck on 11/21/2013 3:41:35 PM , Rating: 1
Pirks isn't making any sense
woah look who's talking, tell me boy did you do your homework this time huh? :))) did you learn how come Samsung can get away with insane 50% margin on their S4 smartphones? did you learn why consumer market revenues are so much larger than your stupid tiny enterprise market stuffed with old museum hardware like win98 and xp? you keep missing your homework assignment deadlines, lame one, and you think I'd educate you about something besides basics when you can't understand even simplest things like one I mentioned above?

RE: Oops
By ritualm on 11/22/2013 2:25:40 AM , Rating: 2
you keep missing your homework assignment deadlines

Yep, because you keep moving those deadlines on purpose so that no matter what I do, I'm always late according to your falsified books. It won't matter - the principal said you're a dbag and has already fired you.

You are in no position to dictate my opinion, fudgmental juckwit. Wanna keep going?

RE: Oops
By greenchinesepuck on 11/22/2013 3:32:36 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not dictating anything, I'm just laughing at your stupidity, your 50% margin and Samsung stuff was so hilarious :)

RE: Oops
By w8gaming on 11/21/2013 5:31:33 PM , Rating: 2
Acer has been making lots of Android devices so it is not fair to blame its trouble on MS alone. There is a reason why Acer fails at Android too compared to the competition. As it always have been, a company loses money mostly because of making too many devices that cannot sell. The bleeding could stop by either making better devices and appeal to the market, or making less.

RE: Oops
By melgross on 11/22/2013 10:50:39 AM , Rating: 2
Their biggest product was the netbook though. When that went away, so did their sales and profits. A problem for them is that now other makers are matching their mostly cheap product line in price, and often, with better quality.

By Ammohunt on 11/21/2013 1:29:44 PM , Rating: 2
Acer has huge brand value which make me believe that previous CEO's must have been grossly incompetent to drive Acer into failure.

RE: Sucks
By Motoman on 11/21/2013 1:45:05 PM , Rating: 3
Actually I don't think they do have much brand value - not in the US anyway. Despite their obvious size, I think the typical American consumer looks at an "Acer" label and thinks "generic" - even as they'd look at an Acer-made Gateway and go "oooo, Gateway is good, right?"

RE: Sucks
By inighthawki on 11/21/2013 2:51:05 PM , Rating: 2
I can't speak for everyone, but I had an old (~8 year old, low end when I bought it) Acer laptop and I was rather pleased with it. With the exception of the battery going bad, it has held up quite nicely through quite a bit of use, and it was well worth the value at the time. I view it as a rather quality purchase.

That said, in recent years it's very clear that Acer's laptops have dropped immensely in quality as competition got better. The ultrabook standard coupled with Apple actually releasing pretty quality laptops makes them an underdog, but they continue to charge the same premiums that the competition now does, but for much worse devices. A prime example is the new tablet they announced. It was worse than the surface 2 by pretty much every metric, but was priced higher. And then they wonder why it won't sell...

Acquisition Update
By AstroCreep on 11/21/2013 2:05:26 PM , Rating: 2
The good days for Acer were about four to five years ago. It became the largest laptop company by the first quarter of 2010 after buying up competition like Gateway Inc., Packard-Bell and eMachines.

Actually, Gateway bought eMachines, not Acer. Yes, Acer ultimately bought Gateway, but they didn't directly buy eMachines.

I figured it was worth mentioning.

RE: Acquisition Update
By inighthawki on 11/21/2013 2:56:19 PM , Rating: 2
True, but eMachines was still an independent brand despite being owned by Gateway, meaning after acquiring Gateway, Acer would have "acquired eMachines" as well. In the same way that if someone bought Chrysler, they would also be acquiring Dodge, Jeep, etc.

i see what you did there....
By andylawcc on 11/21/2013 5:35:12 PM , Rating: 2
or should I say, I Shih what you did there

What I would expect
By Egglick on 11/21/2013 6:47:30 PM , Rating: 2
That's pretty Shih-ty of him.

wait and Shih
By ie5x on 11/21/2013 11:16:09 PM , Rating: 2
Now we'll just have to wait and Shih.
Oh Shih!

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