Acer closes in on Lenovo

Bruce Einhorn

The feud between Steve Jobs and Michael Dell of course gets a lot more attention, but my vote for most interesting rivalry in the computer industry today is between Yang Yuanqing of Lenovo and J.T. Wang of Acer. The two companies are competing for bragging rights as the leading computer company out of Greater China. Acer is No. 1 in Taiwan and big in Europe but has long struggled in the U.S. Lenovo is China's No. 1 and leapfrogged ahead of Acer to become the third-largest PC maker worldwide after Lenovo's 2005 acqusition of IBM's old PC business. Yang and Wang have had similar career paths: Both served as No. 2 and moved to the chairman's job a few years ago following the retirement of their companies' charismatic founders - Liu Chuanzhi at Lenovo and Stan Shih at Acer. And both Yang and Wang have brought in experienced Westerners to help them run their companies - Bill Amelio, CEO at Lenovo and former exec at Dell, and Gianfranco Lanci, president of Acer and former exec at Texas Instruments.

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