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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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik