Acer's financial woes force exit of CEO, president

The company's founder takes over as chairman and interim president as J.T. Wang and Jim Wong give up their positions, effective immediately.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
From left, now-former Acer President Jim Wong, now-former Chairman J.T. Wang, and CMO Michael Birkin. Sarah Tew/CNET

Acer's management shakeup has gotten even shakier.

The Taiwanese PC maker announced Thursday that Chairman and CEO J.T. Wang and President Jim Wong both resigned due to the company's recent financial performance. Wang had already been reportedly due to leave Acer at year's end to be replaced by Wong.

Acer founder Stan Shih has taken over as board chairman and interim president as the company searches for a new candidate to assume the role of presidency. The position of CEO will be eliminated and its responsibilities transferred to the chairman or president. Acer said this move is expected to boost its "decision-making efficiency."

Though no longer on the management side, Wang and Wong both said they will stay with Acer as advisers to help transition the company and attempt to return it to stability. Shih has pledged to take on his new role without a salary in light of Acer's weak financial state.

"I will honor and complete all the public affairs and event engagements that I have committed to, but I will also fully support Acer's ICT (information and communications technology) device business and carry out the company transformation," Shih said in a statement. "In addition, George Huang who is one of my co-founding partners of Acer will join with me and the management team to lead our company at this time."

Acer has seen better days. It was once the world's second biggest PC vendor behind Hewlett-Packard. But its fortunes have plummeted in the past couple of years as PC sales dwindled. The company was hit by a net loss of $446 million last quarter, a downturn it blamed on the impact of gearing up for Windows 8.1 and a related juggling of inventory.