The post-PC era has cost Acer millions over the past few quarters. Now, it’s taken the company’s CEO.
Acer CEO JT Wang announced today his plans to step down during the second quarter next year. It’s a logical, if somewhat inevitable, move for a company that’s still trying to navigate a PC market decimated by the rise of the iPad.
The news comes as Acer reported a $446 million loss during the third quarter, thanks largely to the company’s PC sales, which shrunk another 35 percent. Acer is the fourth PC maker behind Lenovo, HP, and Dell, though it seems to have experienced the most significant losses.
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Acer’s inability to adjust to the post-PC era isn’t probably isn’t news to Wang. The now-outgoing Acer CEO has been a particularly outspoken critic of Microsoft’s Surface, which he said would “create a huge negative impact for the [Windows] ecosystem.” (In a similar vein, company president — and incoming CEO — Jim Wong isn’t a fan of Windows 8.)
Wang was, however, largely wrong: The Surface hasn’t made much of an impact at all — negative or otherwise — despite all the money Microsoft’s thrown at it.
But Acer hasn’t put all of its stock in Microsoft and Windows. Last month, the company unveiled its C720 Chromebook, which, at $250, is a serious improvement over last year’s C7. More, the device is currently the second best-selling laptop on Amazon — so the consumer interest seems to be there as well.
But the success of the C720 won’t save Acer — at least by itself. To help turn things around, Acer says it plans to cut 7 percent of its staff, a move it hopes will save it $100 million.