Its been a tough week for Acer. An internal rift with the Board over where the company was headed caused its CEO Gianfranco Lanci to abandon ship. But where did it all go so horribly wrong?
It was all in the strategy, according to its Chief Financial Officer Tu Che-min.
Lanci was looking to its burgeoning PC market share and seeking to elbow out rival Hewlett Packard from the top spot. However, this failed to work to full effect. In Australia, HP overtook Acer as the most sold computer here last year, with the latter relegated to second place with 14 per cent market share.
And, the Acer Board had different ideas, says Che-min. It wanted to eke out a name for itself in the smartphone and more importantly, the tabs sector, meaning it is now eying up rivals Apple, HTC and Samsung.
Just last week, Australian journalists attended a press conference highlighting its new additions in both categories, both of which were impressive offerings.
“We are stepping into the new mobile device market, where we will invest cautiously and aim to become one of the leading players” Chairman J T Wang said last week.
Walter Deppeler, president of Europe, Middle East and Africa, and procurement head Jim Wong have both been tipped for the top job at the troubled company, whose share price slid to record lows last week.
However, the Taiwanese maker has a long way to go before it gives Steve Jobs sleepless nights. Acer has yet to shake the tabs sector having just launched its Iconia line of tabs, although close pricing with the iPad 2 would suggest it is aiming to outrun the current market favourite.
And it seems there were other issues between the board and the man who had been at the company for almost 15 years.
The board and Lanci “placed different levels of importance on scale, growth, customer value creation, brand position enhancement, and on resource allocation and methods of implementation,” Acer said in a statement.
“The personal computer remains the core of our business. We have built up a strong foundation and will continue.”
Wang will fill the role until a new candidate is found.
The firm has begun planning “organisational and operational adjustments for the sustainable future of Acer,” it said last week.