CEO Gianfranco Lanci’s departure from Aceryesterday was both sudden and unexpected. What precipitated it? The company line says it was his differences with Acer’s board of directors. But over what, specifically? Evidently, Lanci grievously misjudged the impact that tabletswould have on the company’s core business.
Sources at Acer told DigiTimes that Apple’s iPad undercut the company badly in the netbook market. And it quickly became clear that simply boosting shipments of notebooks to win market share was no longer a viable strategy. “We were almost too successful in the past…but more recently the iPad and other new form factors have had a very big impact on the PC market,” Acer Chairman J.T. Wang told the Financial Times. “We have to change our business strategy.”
And leadership. Because Acer needs to replicate in tablets its success in notebooks. To do that, it must approach the market as Apple or HTC might, searching out profits on high margin devices. And according to Acer execs, Lanci was too busy fighting a pricing war with Dell and Hewlett-Packard to realize it. Said Acer CFO Tu Che-min, “There is good consensus among the board members that the tablet is the way to go.”