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Acer slips Wang Andresen into senior Euro slot

Names Parrish UK boss as 2014 sales slump to 8-year low

Weeks after Acer waved goodbye to EMEA chief Luca Rossi, it has handed some control of the region’s ops to UK chief Marco Grieco Wang Andresen, who has in turn been succeeded by Gavin Parrish.

As revealed by The Channel, Rossi left Acer on the eve of Christmas Eve after less than six months on the job, with little explanation given by the company or the man himself. He was replaced by Emmanuel Fromont.

The hard-pressed PC maker today announced that Andresen, who grabbed the top Acer role in Blighty in October 2013, is to be associate veep for the EMEA product business unit based at the Swiss HQ.

The move, the company tells us, is “part of an ongoing leadership restructure at a European level. In his new role, Andresen is responsible for the European business unit”.

Parrish, consumer and business unit director in Blighty, already manages the UK P&L account and implements the local strategy.

“Moving forward, he is charged with maintaining momentum and growth in the UK and Ireland,” Acer said in a prepared statement. Prior to joining the firm in 2011, Parrish was PC channel sales manager at HP.

Acer may have started to claw back some market share in Q4's global PC sales dash, but sales for 2014 under the new worldwide senior exec leadership team slumped to an eight-year low.

The Taiwan-based biz reported revenue of NT$329.84 ($10.37bn) for the 12 calendar months, a drop of 8.4 per cent on the prior annual outing, but has yet to confirm profits.

These was the first full year numbers under the guidance of Jason Chen, a former senior veep for worldwide sales and marketing. Chen stepped into the CEO and president’s hot seat last January.

Chen came highly recommended, being recruited by Acer founding father Stan Shih and George Huang, the former returned to operational duties briefly to steady the ship.

The challenges Acer faces are not of its own making; the PC market slipped into a coma in late 2010 and only awoke three years later, jolted into action by Microsoft ending support for XP.

But consumer sales account for well over half of Acer’s turnover so it if failed to benefit significantly from the increase in the business desktop and notebook replacement cycle.

It wasn’t until Q3 that Acer began growing again, with momentum continuing into the festive quarter as consumers began to buy from traditional clients.

It now has two quarters of expanding numbers under its belt, but if beanies are correct, PC sales are forecast to shrink this year – which leaves Acer with the prospect of taking share from rivals.

Acer has also failed to break the Apple and Samsung tab monopoly, as have most of the PC traditionalists. Meteoric slab growth is now over, with expectations for 2015 at single digits.

Reinforcing a Gartner forecast, chipmaker MediaTek reckons shipments will not grow more than nine per cent this year, with market penetration standing at around 40 per cent in Europe.

Chen has pinned some of the vendor’s revival hopes on the Bring Your Own Cloud plan, a suite of updated apps for consumers that will run mobile devices, including those from other firms. And now in Europe, Andresen and Parrish will be charged with making the most of this product set and others. ®

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