Acer parachutes cofounder Huang in as new chairman

EMEA boss Ahrens heads to Asia-Pacific in re-org


The board of directors at troubled device maker Acer have again elected a key figure from the past to help it get "back to success", the company confirmed following today's Annual General Meeting.

Co-founder and general secretary of the Transformation Committee George Huang is to replace the firm's other co-founder, Stan Shih, as chairman. Shih has retired but keeps the moniker of honorary chairman.

Both returned to the business last autumn following a three-year period in which Acer reported losses and falling sales, and several instances of inventory indigestion that led to mega write-downs.

Shih said his long term business partner was heavily involved in the restructuring and "in helping to develop our new vision" since resuming operational duties in November.

"He is therefore the ideal candidate to lead Acer at this important time," he said in a statement.

The consumer PC market remains in the doldrums. Other than Apple, Samsung and of late Lenovo, no other traditional PC player has managed to grab a decent share of tab spending to offset this.

Acer has pinned part of its rejuvenation on the Bring Your Own Cloud service that it will soon start rolling out to consumers - a suite of updated apps that will work on its own and rivals' kit.

Huang noted the "tremendous challenge ahead" and reckons it needs to "build on the foundations" of existing PC, pad, smartphone and other hardware to boost "competitiveness".

"Acer's BYOC has huge potential for development and we will actively embrace new opportunities that arise in the era of the cloud," he said in a statement sent to El Chan.

A new Audit Committee will replace the Financial Statement and Internal control Review Committee, while the Compensation Committee and the Assets Management and Handling Committees will also have different leads.

The turnaround plan has stretched to a re-org in Asia with Acer bringing together the China, Taiwan and Asia Pacific divisions under one regional head. EMEA boss Oliver Ahrens is the man tasked with driving the business in that part of the world.

Prior to taking control of the EMEA business, Ahrens was the president of Acer China where he grew market share and revenue "almost three fold", the company said.

Ahrens replaces the current president of Asia Pacific and global senior veep Steve Lin, who is set to retire.

Luca Rossi, who joined Acer in 2009 as regional director for Europe will take on the EMEA position. ®

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