Wed, Dec 25, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Acer shares surge on news of new CEO

TAKING HELM:The company’s stock reached a near-two-month high after it was announced that Jason Chen, formerly of TSMC, is to become Acer CEO on Jan. 1

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Acer Inc (宏碁) shares surged 6.18 percent yesterday, as investors welcomed the PC vendor’s latest turnaround effort in appointing a former Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) marketing executive as its new chief executive officer.

“It will be easier for Acer to launch an overhaul of its product strategies by hiring an executive from outside the company,” Yuanta Securities Co (元大證券) analyst Vincent Chen (陳豊丰) said in a client note.

However, Chen said that given that information about the company’s product and marketing strategies is still unclear, he was holding a neutral view about the new appointment.

Acer shares ended at NT$18.05 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday, hitting a near-two-month high since Nov. 5.

On Monday, the world’s No. 4 PC vendor said its board agreed to appoint Jason Chen (陳俊聖), former senior vice president of TSMC’s worldwide sales department, as Acer’s corporate president and CEO, effective from Tuesday next week.

“Chen’s appointment is expected to breathe fresh energy into Acer, but the young CEO will face challenges in reforming the PC brand, including global job cuts,” First Capital Management Inc (第一金證券投顧) said in a research note.

Before joining TSMC, Chen, 52, was vice president of sales and the marketing group at Intel Corp. Chen also worked at IBM Taiwan from 1988 to 1991.

“The appointment may help give a short-term boost to Acer’s share price,” First Capital said, adding that it expects the price to bounce back to NT$20 in the short run.

However, the brokerage said it was concerned about Acer’s fundamentals and forecast that the company would post a second quarterly loss this quarter.

The company’s revenue is expected to contract by 16.94 percent year-on-year to NT$356.7 billion (US$11.87 billion) this year, First Capital said.

Former Acer chairman and CEO Wang Jeng-tang (王振堂) and former company president Jim Wong (翁建仁) tendered their resignations last month, after the company posted a net loss of NT$13.12 billion for last quarter, including an asset impairment of NT$9.94 billion.

That brought back Acer founder Stan Shih (施振榮) to chair the company during the transitional period.

The PC vendor is expected to name a new chairman at its annual shareholder’s meeting in June next year.

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