Taiwan's Acer names new CEO after 3Q losses

Dec 23, 2013

Taiwan's struggling personal computer maker Acer Monday named a new chief executive officer following losses of hundreds of millions of dollars in the third quarter.

Jason Chen, who takes over as both CEO and president from January 1, is currently of worldwide sales and marketing at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, the world's leading contract microchip maker.

Acer chairman Stan Shih said in a statement that Chen, who also worked at Intel and IBM, was "the ideal executive to lead our transformation".

The board had last month named 69-year-old Acer founder Shih as chairman and interim president, replacing two top executives who quit in the space of less than a month over the firm's poor performance.

Acer posted a worse-than-expected net loss of Tw$13.1 billion ($442.2 million) in the three months to September.

The company has said this was due to a rise in inventory levels and one-time compensation payments related to longstanding litigation.

But it has forecast that shipments of Acer's notebooks, tablet PCs and Chromebooks will fall 10 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter.

In the face of the tough outlook, Acer has set up a business restructuring group led by Shih and co-founder George Huang.

Shih founded Acer in 1976 and built it into the world's second largest PC maker in its heyday, and one of the best known Taiwanese brands internationally, before he retired in 2004.

But Acer's fortunes worsened in recent years. In 2011 it lost Tw$6.8 billion in the second quarter—compared to a profit of Tw$3.59 billion in the same period the previous year—as sales were hit by competition from Apple's iPad.

The company has cut several hundred jobs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in recent years to reduce operating expenses. It envisages a seven percent cut in its global workforce next year.

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