Ex-Acer CEO speaks out on rift with board

In interview with AllThingsD, Gianfranco Lanci says his former employers worried about the "de-Taiwanization" of the company when he tried to make the company more global.

Gianfranco Lanci, former CEO of Acer Acer

For the first time since Gianfranco Lanci resigned from Acer, he is talking about the rift over strategy between him and his former board of directors that led to his ouster.

Lanci sat for an interview with AllThingsD published today that revealed disagreements over how to approach the mobile space and globalization.

When Lanci abruptly resigned more than a month ago, Acer Chairman JT Wang said in explanation that, "The personal computer remains the core of our business. We have built up a strong foundation and will continue to expand within, especially in the commercial PC segment. In addition, we are stepping into the new mobile device market, where we will invest cautiously and aim to become one of the leading players."

Wang hinted that the company was interested in mobile products like tablets and smartphones, but didn't want to rush into it while pursuing a long-held goal of becoming one of the top players in personal computers in the world. And that's despite the iPad phenomenon, which has led most of Acer's competitors to dive head first into the tablet space.

In the interview today, Lanci says that while Acer was behind on tablets and smartphones, he had planned to move into the space more quickly. Ultimately he couldn't, and pinned the blame on the board's unwillingness to look outside of the company's home turf of Taiwan to expand its capabilities in hardware and software. Lanci said he believed the talent for that needed to be found outside Taiwan, but his board disagreed and said it would lead to a "de-Taiwanization of the company," according to the AllThingsD's post.

Lanci said he told them, "Look it is not de-Taiwanization...It is just globalization. If we want to be in the top three (PC makers) in the next three to five years, we need to be a global company and we need to leverage resources wherever they are."

Acer's former CEO also believes that if the company had followed the vision he had laid out--albeit late--to pursue more tablets like the Iconia series it released last month, that Acer would be on track to be a $30 billion company by 2015, according to the interview.

You can read the rest of the interview here.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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