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Thursday, November 21, 2013
Acer Elects Founder as New Chairman and President
Acer's board has elected the company founder, Stan Shih, as Chairman and interim Corporate President with immediate effect. Chairman & CEO J.T. Wang and Corporate President Jim Wong have both stepped down in light of the company's recent performance.
Despite their resignations, reluctantly accepted by the Acer's board, both J.T. Wang and Jim Wong have committed to remain with Acer as advisors to ensure a smooth transition and transfer of the management team and to help the company back to stability.
In addition to the appointment of Stan Shih, the Acer's board also resolved to relinquish the position of the CEO. Former CEO duties will be charged to the Chairman or President and this is expected to boost the company's decision making efficiency.
Stan Shih said, "Due to the situation that now faces Acer and my personal social responsibilities, I must stand up and take the reign without salary."
Shih continued, "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 device business and carry out the company transformation. 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 been struggling to revamp in the face of sluggish growth in the PC market. Earlier this month the company reported a quarterly loss of T$13.12 billion ($446 million) for the June-September period, which prompted then-CEO Wang to resign and the company to announce a 7 percent reduction in its workforce.
In related news, Acer has updated its Aspire R7 notebok with the release of the Aspire R7-572, curently available in the U.S. for $899.99.
The second generation of Acer's notebook features Acer's Ezel-Hinge, which allows the display to flip, reverse, lie flat or float above the keyboard.
Features include Windows 8.1 with a 15.6-inch Full HD 1920x1080 touchscreen display with IPS technology, a 4th Generation Intel Core i5-4200U processor, 8 GB of memory, a 1 TB hard drive, and a full-size backlit keyboard. It also includes a volume control button, HDMI port, SD card reader, audio jacks, three USB ports, WiFi, Bluetooth and a converter port supporting VGA, RJ45 and USB. For those who want connect to a big screen TV, WiDi makes it easy to connect wirelessly.
The R7 also includes a sound system featuring Dolby Digital Plus and four 2 watt speakers for a total of 8 watts.
It also includes support for an optional active stylus pen and a new set of apps called Acer Touch Tools. Some of the most popular applications supporting the N-trig active stylus technology include all the Microsoft Office applications, Adobe Photoshop and Autodesk Sketchbook (for drawing). The stylus can also be used with gesture controls at the same time, offering greater accuracy and comfort when writing and drawing.
Best Buy is Acer's exclusive retail partner for the R7 Series of notebooks. The R7-572-6423 has an MSRP of $899.99 (USD). The Acer active stylus will also available at Best Buy, and has an MSRP of $49 (USD). Both will be available in stores and online in early December.
In the meantime, Acer is preparing to launch a comprehensive global marketing campaign "A Touch More" to highlight its product range. This new campaign is designed to re-energize Acer's brand positioning through public relations, social media marketing, in-store and out-of-home advertising.
The campaign will focus on highlighting innovations in touchscreen technology and several PC form factors and associate the Acer brand with the sense of touch in how people use devices. It will focus particularly on Acer's Aspire and Iconia flagship products across the range of touch enabled ultrabooks, convertibles and tablets.