Acer CEO resigns; seven percent of its workers to be laid off

Acer, the world's fourth-largest PC hardware company, will see its current CEO leave the top job at the beginning of 2014. J.T. Wang announced his resignation from Acer today, with the company's president Jim Wong planning to take over the CEO duties from January 1st. Wang will remain as chairman of Acer until his tenure in that position is concluded at the end of June 2014.

Today's announcement comes as Acer is also dealing with a bigger loss than expected for the third quarter of 2013. The Taiwan-based company announced today that it lost T$13.12 billion ($446 million) for the July-September time period. Acer has posted a loss in five of its financial quarters since 2011.

Wang is quoted in today's press release as saying:

Acer encountered many complicated and harsh challenges in the past few years. With the consecutive poor financial results, it is time for me to hand over the responsibility to a new leadership team to path the way for a new era.

Acer also announced plans to lay off seven percent of the company's 8,000 employees, which it says will help it save $100 million in the next year.

Both Wang and Wong have been very vocal in the past year about how they felt Microsoft was making a mistake in getting into the PC hardware business with its Surface tablets. Wang said that the launch of the Surface products would have a negative impact on the PC hardware industry. More recently, Acer announced plans to cut back on its Windows hardware products but will release more Android and Chromebook devices.

Source: Acer | Image via Acer

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Who knows, with the approach that Microsoft is taking now with manufacturing hardware, Acer going down would be the best thing for them. I work in retail and I see consumers everyday that absolutely will not touch Acer.

And I know the reason why...the quality of the machines are horrendous. All plastic and easily breakable. The ones that aren't are the only good machines.

It has nothing to do with quality. They lost sale due people not buying machines with Windows 8. It will hit HP, Toshiba, Dell and Lenovo eventually. They are bigger than Acer so it will take time.

And yes Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 are not doing good. Combined they take < 10%. Now, how much of people in those 10% are using Start 8 and not bother with Metro at all. It is pretty sad picture and state of OS Microsoft is trying to push hard. And please don't try to convince me otherwise because reality says different. Even Microsoft had to eat $1B loss with Surface. Did Surface have quality issues? I don't think so.

My prediction is by the time Microsoft releases Windows 9, Windows XP will still be dominant over Windows 8, 8.1 combined. That is very scary!!!

Edited by zoharzenica, Nov 5 2013, 8:27pm :

Actually he isn't that far from the truth, Windows 8 unfortunately wasn't met with much excitement from consumers and ARM devices really do eat away PC sales. Also many people don't buy a new PC because they already have one, even if it's a netbook.

zoharzenica said,
Microsoft makes Tablets, not PC.

Surface Pro is a full blown PC.. With the form factor of a tablet. Heck, so is the surface.

Just a reminder, don't bash the foundation of the industry your company is built upon.

Acer is a collective of OEMs and OEM parts providers specifically for Windows PCs. This CEO was negative about Windows 8 and competitive products from Microsoft that are a tiny share of the market.

Why would he think public defacing of Windows and private countermanding Windows would help his company?

As for the refocus on Chromebooks, the Netbooks of 5 years ago shouldn't have been forgotten. The return rate of Chromebooks is marginally better than the Linux Netbooks, but are sadly close.

Competing in the Tablet market is one thing with a ChromeOS, but offering notebook class hardware that can easily run Windows 8 yet giving users a mobile/network only OS is just silly.

The other problem with Chromebooks is the distrust of Google and the entire business model of the platform that DEPENDS on user 'usage' used for advertising.

With a history of eMachines in the same company, someone should have been around that remembered why advertising based PCs didn't work and won't work. Chromebook is an advertising based model that is entirely tied to one company that is continually losing public trust.

Acer's best rally was their midrange touch screen notebooks earlier this year, and then they started contracting the lineup that was successful. Why?

They also missed an opportunity to get publicity that Microsoft tried to springboard for them. For the first 8.1" device for developers, on the W3, they used a screen that is horribly unreadable at various viewing angles - something you cannot do on a tablet. Instead of over the top positive press, it generated more counter-publicity as a demonstration of a poor build quality.

It could have been a lot of stories about how great the device was, instead it was about how great Windows 8.1 ran on the device, and then utter disappointment in the horrible screen used by Acer.

Maybe a new CEO can get them out of the ditch and at least regain their midrange device status they did well with for several years.

To be honest I'm not a big fan of any of the OEM companies. With a few exceptions they're all pretty much made by the same place (usually Foxconn) and built as cheaply as possible. However I've found Acer (along with their eMachines brand) to be among the lowest quality of the bunch. I certainly wouldn't miss them.

One of the problems is price. People want to buy 300-500 computers and not 1300 computers. Apple keeps there price higher but they also provide quality. If the avg selling price was still in the 800-1000 range i'm sure we would see better quality vs crap.

Hate to say this, but I am expecting to see more of this from the low end OEMs down the road.
Microsofts entry into the hardware industry should be a wake up to all the OEMs that quality and design are a huge factor now with the shift in the PC industry. They can blame Microsoft all they want, but its their own fault for not upping their quality

what nerve these idiots had to blame windows 8, yet only acer and asus of any of the biggest PC manufacturers suffered massive declines last quarter, whereas the other big guys either remained stable or showed growth.

I wonder how the hard rice is tasting about now.

My favorite Acer story was I had a laptop come in that had this would get really slow after it was up for more than like 20 minutes so I'm on their crappy support site and see there is a drive controller driver update that resolves the issue according to the release notes so I download the installer and run it and the machine falls into an infinite reboot loop. So I do a system restore and the slowness returns try the driver update again same pattern, so now I start looking around on google from another machine its a known issue with the driver update causing the reboot loop and you cant use the generic intel driver due to Acer "hardware customizations"

After that I can not recommended anyone purchase anything from Acer until they get their quality issues sorted.

efjay said,
Guess focusing more on android and chromebooks worked out well for them....

maybe he finally realized he had to make good products instead of flower hopping with OS options.

How do these companies manage to screw up so bad *ALL THE TIME*? If quality is a problem, fix the quality. If perception is a problem, fix the perception. It's not rocket science to look at your largest competitors out there and see that they're building machines with higher res screens high quality plastics and polymers or down right aluminum and magnesium bodies.

Instead, this giant douche led his company by complaining to the hand that feeds it and Acer and companies like it are exactly the reason Microsoft had to out OEM them with their own hardware.

I'd say the management at Acer were morons, but the more i see the crap they push they're just downright blithering idiots.

They had a race to the bottom and apparently the bottom won.

spudtrooper said,
How do these companies manage to screw up so bad *ALL THE TIME*? If quality is a problem, fix the quality. If perception is a problem, fix the perception. It's not rocket science to look at your largest competitors out there and see that they're building machines with higher res screens high quality plastics and polymers or down right aluminum and magnesium bodies.

Their most recent strategy was to become "the new apple" with profitable premium products. With their awesome quality and reliability their success was already written in stone.

All they needed to do was to stop making 1000 different systems and focus on a several form factors and optimize the hell out of them..

They need to get their quality issues worked out. They're constantly ranked at the bottom of the quality list with Dell and Toshiba.

My awesome Acer AiO where the touchscreen stops working at every reboot and where the wifi card drops insane amounts of packets even when placed next to the router says otherwise, oh... wait...

Terrible brands. All of them. Acer did make some nice Ultrabooks recently, however their reputation is probably still tarnished and those in the know avoid their products.

My older 2009 Wal-Mart emachines E627 laptop was solid as a rock (still is) and my family member that I gave it to uses it everyday. Some of Acer, Emachines and Gatway products were pretty well built and good.