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Acer Chair Shih to oversee cloud strategy after stepping down

2014/05/04 19:07:02

Taipei, May 4 (CNA) Acer Inc. Chairman Stan Shih said Sunday that he will continue to serve the Taiwanese computer maker as its head of cloud strategy after he leaves his current position in June.

The 70-year-old founder of the company said he will serve as the "chief architect" of Acer's Build Your Own Cloud (BYOC), a system for users to put together cloud services that manages music and photos across Acer PCs and mobile devices.

"Acer's BYOC strategy is going to start in Taiwan by integrating hardware and software capabilities in the local industry," Shih said in an e-mailed statement to the media.

"It aims to build a whole new industrial ecosystem to challenge the trend of globalization in the era of cloud computing, as well as carrying out the concept of creating value for all interested parties," he said.

Acer is organizing BYOC classes for its employees and distribution partners, and will hold an opening ceremony for a BYOC "experience center" in Taoyuan County on May 29 and a conference for commercial partners on May 30, according to the statement.

The company intends to officially showcase its cloud applications and ecosystem at Computex Taipei, the world's second-largest computer expo, which will take place on June 3-7, the statement said.

Shih, who returned to lead the struggling PC vendor last November, said Acer has begun a management succession plan to transfer more responsibilities to middle management in the hopes of bringing the company back to prosperity.

He said management has agreed on organizational reforms for the future and will introduce new standard procedures, organizational structures and financial management plans as soon as possible.

Once a global leader in the PC market, Acer reported an after-tax loss of NT$7.63 billion (US$252.6 million), or NT$2.8 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2013 that included an unexpected NT$1.3 billion write-off of raw materials inventory.

That followed a loss of NT$13.12 billion, or NT$4.82 per share, in the third quarter, driven largely by a write-down in the value of intangible assets that led to resignations from then-Chairman J.T. Wang and then-CEO Jim Wong in November.

On Dec. 18, the New Taipei-based company appointed Jason Chen, an executive at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), as its corporate president and CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2014.

In a move to turn itself into a "hardware plus software and services company," Acer announced organizational changes Jan. 23 that include the establishment of a Notebook Business Group, a Stationary Computing and Display Business Group, and a Corporate Business Planning and Operations Group.

The Taiwanese manufacturer also renamed its cloud technology department to the BYOC and Tablet Business Group and its e-enabling services to the e-Business Group.

(By Jeffrey Wu)
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