After abolishing its CEO position last month, Acer announced today that it's reinstating it and bringing in a chip industry veteran to take the reins. Beginning January 1st, Jason Chen take over as Acer's CEO. Chen was previously vice president of sales and marketing for chipmaker TSMC, and he had a long stint at Intel serving in sales and marketing positions prior to that.
Q3 losses prompted the executive shuffle
Though chipmaking may not be Acer's current focus, sales and marketing are likely the big appeal to Chen. Acer has been unable to recreate the success it found with netbooks several years ago, and it's now trying to cut employees as losses mount.
After posting a $446 million net loss for Q3 last month, then-CEO and chairman J.T. Wang announced his resignation from Acer, while company founder Stan Shih came out of retirement to take control. Though the CEO position was initially abolished in order to give Shih more direct power, Acer doesn't say why it's quickly moving away from that strategy. It does note, however, that Chen has strong experience in management.
"We consider [Chen] to be the ideal executive to lead our transformation with his wealth of new thinking, international perspective, and willingness to face this challenge," Shih says in a statement. What that thinking and strategy will look like isn't clear yet, but Acer would almost certainly prefer to return to being a leader when it comes to Windows machines, rather than just one of the industry's many players.