Acer's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) J.T. Wang may go down in history as another victim of mobile. The outspoken chief announced his resignation today, which comes as part of a larger restructuring effort with additional layoffs planned to turn Acer's fortunes around. Perhaps Wang was caught off guard by the market's transition to mobile, because if you rewind the clock to when Apple unveiled its first iPad, Acer was on its way to the top of the food chain.
At the time, Wang predicted Acer would top HP as the world's largest PC maker within two to three years. Instead, tablet computing mesmerized the mainstream audience and here we are in the midst of a traditional PC slump as the market figures itself out.
Instead of leapfrogging HP (or Lenovo, which is now the world's top PC player in terms of shipments), Acer just posted a record loss of NT$13.1 billion (around $445 million in U.S. currency) for the third quarter, Bloombergreports. That's worse than analysts were expecting, and apparently was the final nail in the coffin for Wang.
"It's time for me to hand over the responsibility to a new leadership team to path the new way for a new era," Wang said in a statement, according to PCWorld.
Sound familiar? Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer sang a similar tune when he announced his impending retirement. It's a bit ironic when you think about it. Wang was never shy about calling Microsoft out for trying to compete in the hardware space, yet both him and Ballmer -- a couple of old guards -- now find themselves compelled to step aside as their respective companies undergo restructuring to compete in an increasingly mobile landscape.