Come January 1, 2014, Acer will have a new CEO. The company announced today that it will bringing on Jason Chen at the beginning of the year, filling the spot that was left vacant with the resignation JT Wang after a particularly poor quarterly earnings report. Chen is leaving his position as Vice President of Sales at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company to take this job at Acer. TSMC should be a name that's recognized by many, as its the biggest manufacturer of semiconductors in the world. Make no mistake, Acer is getting a pretty big name to head up the company, and after 2013, it needs all the help it can get.
That's because the company saw its computer sales lose out to smartphone and tablet sales over the course of the year. In its latest quarterly earnings report, Acer said it had lost a whopping T$13.12 billion (around $450 million) in the three month period ending in September. Not only was this the report that caused Wang to resign, but it was also accompanied by the announcement that Acer would be laying off 7% of its workforce. It's clear that Acer needs to rethink its strategy moving into the new year, and the company believes Chen is just the guy to inspire such a change.
Up until now, Acer founder Stan Shih has been serving as something of a interim CEO, and though he'll be relinquishing those duties to Chen on January 1, he'll stay on as Acer's Chairman. Speaking on Chen's capabilities, Shih said that he's the "ideal executive to lead our transformation with his wealth of new thinking, international perspective, and willingness to face this challenge." So, it looks like Acer believes in its new CEO, but whether or not he can help pull the company out of this recent rut is another story entirely.
Chen joined TSMC in 2005, holding his position as Vice President of Sales since 2008. Before joining TSMC, he put in a long 14 years at Intel, working in a "variety of sales and marketing positions." It sounds like he certainly knows his stuff when it comes to marketing, and for a company that needs to catch the attention of consumers once more, that's great news. We look forward to what Chen is capable of pulling off as CEO, so you can bet that Acer will be a company to watch as we move into 2014. Stay tuned.