Acer CEO steps down as mobile business fails to reverse loss

06 NOV 2013

J T Wang, the CEO and chairman of Acer, announced plans to resign after the company recorded a hefty loss for the third quarter, as the company’s smartphone and tablet business failed to offset a continuing decline in demand for PCs.

Acer is the fourth-largest PC maker in the world and has been unprofitable since last year as global PC demand fell. Despite launching a number of new smartphones and tablets, it has struggled to bridge the revenue decline.

In September, the company showcased its Liquid S2 smartphone, the company’s first device to support 4K video recording, and its Inconia A3 Android tablet with an “enhanced cinematic experience”.

Acer founder and board member Stan Shih said the company will introduce more competitive products in the PC, tablet and smartphone business to stabilise the company’s market share.

Wang is to be succeeded by corporate president Jim Wong on 1 January 2014 and will remain chairman until the following June to ensure “company stability and a smooth transition during this latest restructuring and transformation”.

“Acer encountered many complicated and harsh challenges in the past few years. With the consecutive poor financial results, it is time for me to hand over the responsibility to a new leadership team to pave the way for a new era,” said Wang.

The company recorded a Q3 loss of TWD13.1 billion ($442.19 million), on consolidated revenue of TWD92.2 billion, down 11.8 per cent year on year.

The company attributed its operating loss to the gross margin impact of preparing for Windows 8.1 and the related management of inventory.

There were also one-time compensation payments to settle a lawsuit related to eMachine, and an intangible asset impairment loss of TWD9.94 billion, related to the Gateway, Packard Bell, Founder, iGware and ETen PC brands.

Acer is trying to turn things around with major restructuring and corporate transformation, which includes cutting 7 per cent of the company’s global workforce from 2014.

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Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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