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Gianfranco Lanci certainly knows how to push his competitors' buttons.
The president of Acer has been overseeing the day-to-day efforts of the Taipei, Taiwan-based PC maker's rapid ascent in market share in the United States and worldwide. Earlier this year, Lanci took aim at rival Dell, boldly and personally: He publicly predicted Acer would overtake the Round Rock, Texas-based company in market share within months.
Michael Dell returned the volley in a very animated fashion: "Good luck with that," Dell said, responding to Lanci in an interview with CRN. "I think he has to look at revenue. You might want to go do the math on that. Dell's revenue in Europe is greater than [the revenue of] that whole company."
Lanci and Acer then got to work.
Within several weeks, as another rival, Lenovo, made a bid to acquire France's Packard Bell in an effort to grow European market share, Lanci moved in. He cut a deal to acquire Gateway and, in addition, the rights to buy Packard Bell.
In one fell swoop, Lanci took shots at two of his key rivals and by year's end was moving closer to his market-share prediction.
As 2007 drew to a close, Acer was in third place in worldwide PC market share, and within 12 months had closed its market-share gap with Dell from 10 points behind to 6 points behind—before counting any shipments from Gateway or Packard Bell.
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