TAIPEI -- Taiwan's struggling personal computer maker Acer (IW 1000/314) named a new chief executive officer yesterday following losses of hundreds of millions of dollars in the third quarter.
Jason Chen, who takes over as both CEO and president on Jan. 1, is currently senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, the world's leading contract microchip maker.
The board had last month named 69-year-old Acer founder Shih as chairman and interim president, replacing two top executives who quit in the space of less than a month over the company's poor performance.
Acer posted a worse-than-expected net loss of Tw$13.1 billion (U.S. $442.2 million) in the quarter ended Sept. 30.
The company has said this was due to a rise in inventory levels and one-time compensation payments related to long-standing litigation.
But it has forecast that shipments of Acer's notebooks, tablet PCs and Chromebooks will fall 10% in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter.
In the face of the tough outlook, Acer has set up a business restructuring group led by Shih and co-founder George Huang.
Shih founded Acer in 1976 and built it into the world's second-largest PC maker in its heyday, and one of the best-known Taiwanese brands internationally, before he retired in 2004.
But Acer's fortunes worsened in recent years. In 2011 it lost Tw$6.8 billion in the second quarter -- compared to a profit of Tw$3.59 billion in the same period the previous year -- as sales were hit by competition from Apple's (IW 500/4) iPad.
The company has cut several hundred jobs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in recent years to reduce operating expenses. It envisions a 7% cut in its global workforce next year.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013