Acer chairman to leave PC maker in June, no replacement named

Acer's co-founder Stan Shih says he's satisfied with the changes wrought at the PC maker in his six months as Chairman

Acer chairman Stan Shih

Acer chairman Stan Shih

After six months as Acer's chairman, company co-founder, Stan Shih, plans to step down on June 18, saying he is satisfied with the PC maker's new direction.

"The hope is that the company will soon break even and start making money again," he said in an interview on Monday.

The company's will appoint new board members in June, and the board will then select the new chairman.

Since November, Shih has been leading a major reorganization at the ailing Taiwanese PC maker. In that time, Acer has hired a new CEO, and plans to use software and services to help revive its business.

Financially, however, the company has been struggling to make a profit as the PC market continues its decline. Acer has been posting consecutive net losses and last November decided to cut employee numbers by 7 percent.

Despite the difficulties, Shih said Acer has stopped the financial bleeding, and gradually will restore public confidence in its business.

"The media and investors had grown pessimistic. Everybody thought Acer will sooner or later fall apart," he said, while attending the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing. "But I think within six months, our company's performance will give everyone some confidence in Acer," he added.

Even as Shih steps away from his role as chairman, he will continue to oversee Acer's "Build Your Own Cloud" business, a plan he helped develop.

As part of that strategy, future Acer products will offer private cloud storage, becoming "mini data centers" for consumers to save content, he said. Consumers can still choose to use public clouds from Dropbox, Google and Microsoft. But Acer wants to offer customers an additional choice to save information directly to their own devices, Shih said.

To generate revenue, Acer will add paid upgrades and enhancements to its private cloud services.

"By increasing our shipments of PCs, tablets, smartphones and wearables, we will build up a customer base for our cloud services," he said.

Acer plans to announce more details of its cloud strategy on May 29, including its hardware and software partners.

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Michael Kan

IDG News Service
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