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Monday, 13 January 2014 12:04

New Acer boss disappoints

Written by Nick Farrell



No cunning plans

The new boss of Acer has disappointed investors with his novel “no plan to save the company from trouble” strategy. Jason Chen, the latest executive to step through the revolving door to the CEO's office, said during his first press conference on Monday that the Taiwanese company's biggest mistake was investing too early in touch-panels and ultrabooks and not realizing the extent to which tablet computers like Apple iPad would disrupt the PC industry.

Most people knew that already, and were hoping that Ace would have a plan out of trouble. The only problem is that if Chen has an idea he is not sharing it with the rest of the class. Chen is the latest appointment in a series of top-level shake-ups at the struggling firm. In 2011, Italian-born Gianfranco Lanci resigned as CEO and in November, then-CEO J.T. Wang also resigned to be replaced by then-corporate president Jim Wong. Wong, however, stepped down only weeks later.

Acer has been struggling with losses for several quarters, including a $437.98 million deficit in the third quarter of 2013. Analysts said that while they did not expect concrete details from Chen's presentation, they should have attempted to make people more optimistic about the company's future.

What was revealed was that it will be a bad year for Acer. The first half is basically impossible, while in the second half it may start to bottom out since the reshuffle will have been going on some time by then. Acer last month named former Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd sales executive Chen its new CEO as of January 1, while founder Stan Shih returned to the company in November as chairman.

Nick Farrell

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