Acer Initiates Legal Action Against Former Chief Lanci for Joining Lenovo

Paul Lilly

The breakup between Acer and its former Chief Executive Officer, Gianfranco Lanci, was mildy tense, but swift and free of any drama when the two parted ways almost a year ago. And it probably would have stayed that way too, except Lanci accepted a gig with Lenovo, a move that prompted Acer to file a lawsuit in Italy for an alleged breache of a non-compete clause Lanci signed with his former company.

Lanci joined Lenovo as a consultant in September of last year, and then was brought in on a permanent basis in January 2012 to head the company's new Europe, Middle East, and Africa division. None of that has been sitting well with Acer, which claims Lanci was bound by a 12-month non-compete agreement, the Financial Times reports .

Acer brought Lanci on board in 1997. Over the course of the next decade and beyond, Lanci proved instrumental in Acer's rise to the near top. But things came to a head when he and Acer's board disagreed on a product strategy in the emerging mobile handset landscape, and specifically the amount of focus that should be put on smartphones and tablets.

"On the company's future development, Lanci held different views from a majority of the board members, and could not reach a consensus following several months of dialog," Acer said in a written statement.

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