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Gateway CEO exits, Acer America president takes over

J. Edward Coleman, Gateway's fifth chief executive in six years, will leave next month. New CEO will be responsible for completing the integration of the two companies.

After a little more than a year on the job, J. Edward Coleman is stepping down as chief executive of Gateway, the company announced Friday.

He will leave Gateway by the end of January. His position will be taken over immediately by Rudi Schmidleithner, president of the American operation for Acer, the PC maker that bought Gateway this summer. Coleman joined the company as CEO in September 2006.

"Acer would like to thank Ed Coleman for his leadership and professional contribution during this period and his continued support during the leadership transition between now and the end of Jan 2008," the company said in a statement.

Coleman was the fifth chief executive in six years to join Gateway. Like all of them, he was faced with the challenge of getting Gateway out of the low end of the PC business. In less than a year he worked out an acquisition by Acer, today's fastest-growing PC company, for $710 million--a far cry from the company's $7 billion valuation at the height of its success in the mid-'90s. Acer's Schmidleithner will be responsible for completing the integration process combining the two companies.