Acer sues ex-CEO for Lenovo move

Taiwanese PC maker sues Gianfranco Lanci for allegedly breaching non-compete clause when he joined rival Lenovo months after departing Acer in March 2011, report states.

Acer has sued its former CEO, Gianfranco Lanci, for breaking the non-compete clause in his contract after he joined the Taiwan PC maker's rival, Lenovo, in September last year, Reuters revealed.

In a report Tuesday, the news agency said Lanci reportedly signed an agreement that had a 12-month non-compete clause when he departed Acer, and the Taiwanese company is seeking an unspecified amount in damages after filing its lawsuit with the court in Milan, Italy.

"We believe Lanci has clearly breached the terms of the non-compete agreement he entered into willingly. This is about Acer defending a binding legal agreement with its former employee," Acer said in a statement. "We are taking legal action against him in order to protect Acer's rights and interests."

Taiwan's Central News Agency added in separate report on Tuesday that Acer is looking for a verdict and compensation in its favor, and not an injunction requiring Lanci to not take up a position with rival companies.

The report cited analysts who suggested that Lanci's consultancy role was designed as an expediency to evade his contractual obligations. Lenovo announced in January that will Lanci lead the company's European, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) division effective Apr. 2, it added.

The Italian executive, who joined Acer in 2008 as CEO, abruptly resigned in March last year following a dispute with board members over Acer's growth strategy. He later joined the company's Chinese rival Lenovo as a consultant in September to help develop its consumer PC business, particularly in Europe.

In response to Acer's lawsuit, Lenovo said in a MarketWatch report Tuesday that it is confident its employment of Lanci meets all legal requirements.

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