Acer Names Jim Wong as President to Replace Lanci Who Quit

April 19 (Bloomberg) -- Acer Inc. appointed Jim Wong as president with immediate effect, replacing Gianfranco Lanci, who quit as chief executive officer and president last month after clashing with board members over the company’s strategy.

The 52-year-old Wong, who headed the company’s information technology products division, will also lead a new group that includes the tablet personal computer and smartphone teams, the company said in an e-mailed statement. Chairman J.T. Wang will continue as CEO.

Lanci resigned on March 31, less than a week after the world’s second-largest notebook maker lowered its sales forecast that led to a four-day, 18 percent rout of the stock. The Taipei-based company said today it estimates PC shipments to decline 10 percent in the second quarter from the previous three months because of the company’s reorganization, inventory adjustment and a seasonal slowdown in the PC industry.

“The IT industry is encountering a profound change,” Wong, who joined Acer in 1986 at the company’s Latin American region’s sales division, said in the statement. “We are ready with a clear set of goals and action plans,” said the executive, who was president of the company’s IT Products Global Operations from 2001.

As part of the reshuffle, Campbell Kan, former vice president of the company’s smart handheld business, will lead a new group that includes the main PC products business.

Acer’s shares have slumped 42 percent this year on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, compared with a 3.7 percent decline in the benchmark Taiex index.

“A shipment decline is bad news,” said Calvin Lu, an analyst at Mega Securities Co. in Taipei, who has a “neutral” rating on the shares. “It’s a tough time for Acer now, and the stock will see more correction in the near future.”

The operating margin for the current quarter is expected to be similar to the first quarter, Acer said today.

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