SAN JOSE, Calif. – Acer's chief executive Gianfranco Lanci has resigned from the company amid falling PC sales. The company's chairman, J.T. Wang, will act as interim CEO while the board seeks a new leader.
In a press statement, the company said Lanci and the Acer board could not reach a consensus following several months’ of dialog on several issues about the company's future. In 2009, Acer grabbed second place in PC sales, surpassing Dell, but more recently reported a decline in sales that out it back in third place.
“The personal computer remains the core of our business," said Wang. "We have built up a strong foundation and will continue to expand within, especially in the commercial PC segment," he said.
"In addition, we are stepping into the new mobile device market, where we will invest cautiously and aim to become one of the leading players,” he added.
Under founder Stan Shih, Acer worked for years to establish itself as one of the Taiwan's first global PC brands, rising above peers focused on contract manufacturing for big U.S. and European companies. But other Taiwan companies such as HTC have led the way in creating a global brand in the emerging smartphone market.
This year sales of smartphones will surpass PC sales for the first time, according to International Data Corp. About 400 million smartphones will ship this year compared to about 380 million PCs, IDC predicts.
Earlier this year Gartner predicted tablets will eat into notebook sales. Acer has been strong in notebooks and netbooks, the later seen as a category that has peaked and may decline.
In November Acer rolled out three Android tablets, and in January it announced Windows 7 tablets.