Ex-Acer chief grasps reins of Lenovo's EMEA biz
Gianfranco Lanci rides again
Gianfranco Lanci, who quit Acer after a series of boardroom wrangles nine months ago, has been picked up by rival computer company Lenovo to head up their operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Lanci, CEO of Acer until March last year, has just been appointed head of Lenovo's EMEA PC division as the Chinese giant reorganises. The hire formalises Lanci's role with Lenovo, where he has been working as a consultant since September.
Lenovo has had impressive success in the difficult PC market, becoming the second biggest computer manufacturer this year pushing Acer down to fourth place and Dell to third. Acer by contrast has fallen into problems as sales and profits have dived in the past two quarters, in the UK for example shipments of Acer units fell 52 per cent in Q3 as compared to the previous quarter.
Lanci left Acer in March 2011 following boardroom disagreements over the company's future.
"They placed different levels of importance on scale, growth, customer value creation, brand position enhancement, and on resource allocation and methods of implementation," said the Acer statement at the time.
It was a move that set off a merry-go-round of senior managerial reshuffles, as Lanci's replacement, Walter Deppeler, was swiftly moved into a different post and global marketing manager Gianpiero Morbello quit, along with UK boss Bobby Watkins and smartphone boss and former Packard Bell CEO Aymar de Lencquesaing.
In his 14 years at Acer, Lanci was credited with building strong relationships with European distributors which were judged to be crucial for the company's worldwide growth. Commentators at the time of his first engagement with rival Lenovo predicted that his shift could spell bad news for his old company. We imagine they won't be thrilled to hear about his new job either. ®
Contrary to the doomsday predictions
which flew about when IBM sold its PC business to (gasp !) those dastardly Chinese, the latter have made Lenovo a success by concentrating on, inter alia, quality. Acer's products, on the other hand, have not been known for this particular quality, as the firm recently admitted (or rather, adumbrated) in a press release (reported in the Reg) to the effect that it was going to start producing more up-market products. Let us hope that Signor Lanci's move from Acer to Lenovo rather reflects a desire on his part to work with a manufacturer with whom product quality is central than a desire to Acerise Lenovo !...