Acer Inc (宏碁) yesterday said it plans to hire hundreds of sales agents and software engineers for its cloud business as part of its efforts to transform itself into a data storage solution provider by 2016.
At the company’s annual general meeting, officials said the world’s fourth-largest PC vendor is looking for people who can excel at developing software programs supported by cloud computing technologies.
Acer has run its own data storage platform for 13 years.
“We want to provide a platform for young people with the skills required for cloud-related software development,” founder Stan Shih (施振榮) told shareholders. “Talents from Taiwan or the US’ Silicon Valley are all welcome.”
Following a series of management reshuffle as the company underperformed financially, Acer in December last year said it planned to change into a “hardware plus software and service” player in the PC industry.
The “Build Your Own Cloud (BYOC)” business strategy had made its cloud business profitable last year, but the company wants to expand further and therefore needs to recruit more staff with a sales or engineering background, Shih said.
While Acer had ended three straight quarters of losses and posted net profits of NT$1 million (US$33,300) last quarter, it expects profitability to be sustainable and set a goal of “returning to glory” through the cloud market within three years, Shih said.
Acer held a press conference in Taoyuan County’s Longtan Township (龍潭) last month to announce a number of BYOC data storage tools and citing some of its major clients, including storage device chipmaker Phison Electronics Co (群聯), cell-tissue banking and cell therapy firm Bionet Corp (訊聯) and handset chip supplier MediaTek Inc (聯發科).
Applications of the data storage tools vary from telematics to data storage, audio or video file management, ebook access and e-ticket purchasing, Shih said, adding that Acer aims to expand its cloud business into areas related to healthcare, education, automation and telecom services.
Shareholders yesterday signed off on last year’s financial statement. The company suffered its biggest loss in its 37-year history with NT$21.79 billion last year, or losses per share of NT$7.54.
The board of directors also elected George Huang (黃少華) to replace Shih as chairman.
“As chairman, I have a tremendous challenge ahead and will do my very best, along with our CEO Jason Chen (陳俊聖) and the management team, to realize the BYOC vision and lead Acer back to success,” Huang said.
He said Acer plans to continue selling PCs as well as tablets and smartphones to strengthen its overall product competitiveness, while searching for new business opportunities from the development of cloud computing technologies.
Shih stepped down as interim chairman and head of the transformation committee yesterday.
However, he will remain a consultant for the cloud business, the company said.