Acer CEO Bites the Dust as Apple Takes Chunk of Netbook Market

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Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci becomes the latest head of a PC company to exit after fighting a losing battle to topple Apple’s domination of the tablet market. Apple’s successful iPad and other products is seen as the “key reason” why Lanci left.

Executives at Motorola, Toshiba, Sony, Lenova and Asustek Computer reportedly could also be dethroned, according to an industry publication, citing unnamed sources. “First-tier smartphone and PC brands are still unable to find an effective strategy to counter Apple’s advance,” the Taiwan-based DigiTimes writes.


Prior to Lanci’s departure, Nokia replaced former CEO Olli-Pekka in September and LG Electronics replaced head Nam Young “because of their inability to defend their companies from Apple’s fierce competition.”

Bloomberg reports Friday Lanci was axed because his goal was to outsell HP. Instead, Acer board members believe the company should focus on profits and put Apple in its crosshairs. Apple had a 21.5 percent profit margin during the last fiscal year, compared with Acer’s 2.3 percent.

“There is good consensus among the board members that the tablet is the way to go,” Acer’s finance chief told the news site. Acer began selling its Iconia tablet in March, giving Apple’s iPad a year head start. In 2010, Acer predicted the Apple tablet would fall to just 20 percent of the market. Today, the iPad is the leading product in the tablet category.

Can Acer readjust, or is it too late? More and more PC makers who felt demand for the iPad would cool over time are now rushing to make up lost ground.

[AppleInsider, DigiTimes, Bloomberg]