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Acer Founder Shih Takes Back Chairman Reins

George Huang, a co-founder with Shih, will join the management team.

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taiwan's struggling personal computer maker Acer (IW 1000/314) announced Thursday that it has named its founder Stan Shih as the new chairman and interim corporate president.

Shih replaces chairman and CEO J.T. Wang and corporate president Jim Wong, who resigned earlier this month after the company reported a net third-quarter loss of Tw$13.1 billion (US$442.2 million).

The board of directors approved Shih's appointment with immediate effect, and Acer said it will hand over the corporate presidency to an appropriate candidate as soon as possible.

"Due to the situation that now faces Acer and my personal social responsibilities, I must stand up and take the reins without salary," Shih said in a statement, pledging to support the company's transformation.

George Huang, a co-founder with Shih, will join the management team. Wang and Wong will both remain as advisers to ensure a smooth transition, the company said.

Acer said its board also decided to scrap the CEO position and transfer its duties to the chairman or president, to try to improve decision-making.

The company has said the third-quarter loss resulted from a rise in inventory levels and from one-time compensation payments related to long-standing litigation.

Shipments of Acer's notebooks, tablet PCs and Chromebooks are expected to fall 10% in Q4 compared to the third quarter, it said.

In the face of the tough outlook, Acer has set up a business restructuring group led by founder Shih and co-founder Huang. It envisages a 7% cut in the number of global employees next year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

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