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Acer founder steps in to save company as CEO and president resign

Acer founder steps in to save company as CEO and president resign

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Acer's been on a quest to reinvent itself pretty much since the sunset of the netbook era — which both fuelled the Taiwanese company's rapid growth and left it floundering when consumers moved on to other devices. Most recently, CEO and chairman J.T. Wang announced his resignation, expressing regret at having failed to turn the company's fortunes around. Only a couple of weeks after that news comes word of even more momentous change for Acer: founder Stan Shih is taking over the chairman and president roles with immediate effect.

Jim Wong, who had been occupying the president's seat up to this point, was slated to take over from Wang as CEO from the start of next year — but now Acer is completely scrapping the CEO position and concentrating decision making power in Shih's hands. Acer's press release states that Wang and Wong will be retained as "advisors to ensure a smooth transition." The former CEO duties will be handed off to either the chairman or president, which Acer expects will "boost the company's decision making efficiency." That will undeniably be true in the initial stages when Shih will fill both roles, though he's only going to be interim president — the role will be filled permanently as soon as a suitable candidate is identified. Fellow Acer co-founder George Huang is also joining the management team.

Rearranging the boardroom chairs

In the wake of the November 5th restructuring, Huang and Shih had been charged with heading up a committee to recommend a future direction for Acer, proposing changes in its "vision, strategy, and execution plans." Evidently, their conclusion has been that the only way to steady the ship is to take a more hands-on approach to managing the company. Stan Shih, who'll be working without recourse to a salary, describes today's changes as essential: "due to the situation that now faces Acer and my personal social responsibilities, I must stand up and take the reign."