Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Acer Names Former Chip Exec as Third CEO in Two Months

musical-chairsAcer, the troubled Taiwanese PC maker, named Jason Chen, a former executive with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., as its new CEO.

Chen is now the third executive to lead Acer this year. The musical chairs in the corner office began on Nov. 5 when then-CEO J.T. Wang resigned in the wake of a record $446 million quarterly loss and the announcement of plans to fire some 550 employees in a corporate restructuring. Wang, who had replaced longtime Acer CEO Giancarlo Lanci in 2011, was replaced by Jim Wong.

Then, on Nov. 21, Wong was replaced in another leadership shake-up by Acer founder Stan Shih, who took the title “chairman and interim corporate president.”

Chen had been VP for worldwide sales and marketing at Taipei-based Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., the massive chip manufacturer for hire. He joined TSMC in 2005. Before that, he worked for Intel.

Acer, the fourth-largest manufacturer of PCs, after Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo, has been among the companies struggling with the historic slowdown in sales. In October, market research firm Gartner estimated that Acer and its rival Asus had experienced the worst decline in unit sales in their history, each by more than 22 percent.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work