Industryweek 6798 Acer Boss Says No Regrets He Prepares Retire

Acer Boss Says 'No Regrets' as He Prepares to Retire -- Again

June 6, 2014
Acer founder Stan Shih, who retired 10 years ago but returned to take back the reins of the struggling Taiwanese personal computer maker, is re-retiring later this month.

TAIPEI -- It's deja vu for Acer's founder Stan Shih as he prepares to step down again later this month. He retired 10 years ago, but returned to take back the reins of the struggling Taiwanese personal computer maker.

Since Shih's comeback as chairman and interim president late last year -- which he always billed as a temporary measure -- the company has gone through a painful restructuring, after two top executives quit over the firm's poor performance.

But with Acer (IW 1000/314) swinging back to profit in the first quarter of this year following three consecutive losses, 69-year-old Shih says he is looking forward, not back.

"I don't like to waste my mind on regret, I don't have time," he said in an interview at Acer headquarters in Taipei, where industry leaders from all over the world are gathered for Computex, Asia's largest tech trade show. "You have to always look ahead, always be positive. It's your choice, your destiny. You have to enjoy life."

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 retiring in 2004.

And his wife of 43 years, Carolyn Yeh, is also happy despite her initial reservations.

"She supports me and she can see [the company has] stabilized and turned around gradually," he says, crediting her for looking after his health. "I get up in the morning and walk with my wife. After dinner we also walk again -- 10,000 steps together every day. It's good for us because we chat a lot when we walk."

In September the couple will be taking a cruise on the Danube with friends, and Shih says he is relishing the prospect of taking his foot off the gas.

"I still have a personal social responsibility, but I won't have any criteria imposed from outside, from my peers, Wall Street, quarterly results. I like to release the psychological pressure," he said. "At some point, you have to retire."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014

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