Mon, Sep 19, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Shih unfazed by Lanci’s Lenovo move

HIRED:Acer’s founder said that he had been unaware that Lenovo was pursuing his former CEO, and his company would react to the development in a proper manner

Staff Writer, with CNA

Acer Inc (宏碁) founder Stan Shih (施振榮) said on Saturday he would take a positive attitude toward former Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci’s move to China’s Lenovo Group (聯想).

Lenovo — the No. 1 PC vendor in China and the world’s No. 3 PC retailer in the second quarter of this year — announced on its Web site on Friday that it had hired Lanci as a consultant to help -develop its consumer PC business.

Lanci, who left Acer in late March after eight years in the company, will focus on Lenovo’s integration of Medion AG, the German electronics retailer it acquired in July, the Chinese company said in the statement on its Web site.

Shih said he did not know Lenovo was pursuing Lanci until Friday.

“I believe Acer management will properly deal with the new development,” said Shih, who is no longer active in Acer’s management. “Everybody has the right to work, but they also have the obligation to fulfill their duties under a contract.”

Shih said that he was not familiar with Lanci’s contract with Acer and so he had no idea how Acer’s management would respond to Lanci’s new post.

Asked if Lanci’s move to Lenovo would have an impact on Acer, Shih said anything could happen.

“What counts is how you face up to new developments and how you respond. Nothing is too fatal to cope with,” Shih said. “It all depends on how you look at it and how you respond.”

Maintaining a positive mind-set was most helpful in tackling problems, he said, adding that competition should be welcomed, because the tougher the competition, the faster the progress.

When Acer reported huge second-quarter losses late last month, chairman J.T. Wang (王振堂) said one reason for the size of the losses was “payments to some senior executives” who had left, including Lanci.

Acer has remained tight-lipped on the amount it paid to Lanci following his resignation, but Wang said Acer paid him a severance fee “at an international level.”

According to high-tech sources, Lanci received US$10 million, while Acer’s former global marketing vice president, Gianpiero Morbello, and Aymar de Lencquesaing, ex-president of its Hand-held -Intelligence Group, each received “millions of US dollars.”

Giving Lanci NT$300 million in exchange for his agreement not to work for a competing company was acceptable to Acer, a source said.

A senior executive at the Taiwanese computer giant said Lanci had made contributions to Acer, helping it expand in foreign markets and making it the world’s No. 2 notebook vendor in 2009.

Acer’s share in the global PC market slid to fourth place in the second quarter of this year, a report by market researcher Gartner Inc said.

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