Acer chief Lanci quits over difference in focus

Gianfranco Lanci has resigned as chief executive and president of the computer manufacturer, and has been replaced in the interim by Acer chairman JT Wang
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor

The chief executive and president of Acer has quit the company, citing irreconcilable differences over the company's future, Acer announced on Thursday.

Acer chief resigns

Gianfranco Lanci quits Acer, citing irreconcilable differences over the company's future. Photo credit: Marguerite Reardon/CNET News

Gianfranco Lanci, who was appointed chief executive in 2008, will leave the company immediately and will be replaced by current Acer chairman JT Wang until a permanent replacement can be found, the company said. Lanci's resignation was approved by the Acer board of directors on Thursday.

Lanci decided to leave as he had different views from the board of directors on the company's future, despite several months of discussions, Acer said.

"They [the board] placed different levels of importance on scale, growth, customer value creation, brand position enhancement, and on resource allocation and methods of implementation," the company said in a statement.

Acer was quick to reassure that Lanci's departure would not affect its current operations. "The personal computer remains the core of our business. We have built up a strong foundation and will continue to expand within, especially in the commercial PC segment," Wang said.

Wang also said that Acer plans to "invest cautiously" in pursuit of becoming a leading figure in the mobile device market.

A different focus

According to comments made during a CNBC during an interview in February, Lanci wanted to place more emphasis on mobile developments.

"We have a clear objective, not to overtake HP, but to become the number one mobile supplier," Lanci said. "If becoming number one on mobile means that we become number one on PCs, it's welcome. Mobile is still our major focus."

On 24 March, Acer launched a trio of Iconia Tab tablet devices; two 10.1-inch devices scheduled for release in April and a 7-inch model pencilled in for a summer release.

The following day, Acer announced its first quarterly statement of 2011 would fall short of expectations due to "relatively weaker" PC demand in western Europe and the US. It said PC revenue had fallen approximately 10 percent since the fourth quarter of  2010 and no further changes were expected for the second quarter of 2011, when it will launch several new tablet PCs.

As president of the company, Lanci was also president of the EMEA region for Acer. He will be succeeded in this role by Walter Deppeler, the current deputy president of Acer EMEA.

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