Acer on Tuesday said it has formed a new tablet division with Jim Wong as its president that will operate as a standalone business unit and spearhead its aggressive mobile market strategy.
Acer said its new tablet division, known as the Touch Business Group, will dedicate its resources to the development of an upcoming Acer tablet product, just as the company markets its Acer Iconia A500, its first entry in the tablet market.
Wong replaces former Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci, who resigned last month. Meanwhile, company Chairman J.T. Wang, who took over as CEO in the interim, said Acer is pursuing a more aggressive strategy in the mobile market predicated on its tablet product roadmap.
The 52-year-old Wong joined Acer in 1986 as manager of its Latin American region’s sales division. Wong headed Acer’s information technology products division prior to his appointment as president. “The IT industry is encountering a profound change,” Wong said in a statement. “We are ready with a clear set of goals and action plans.”
Wong will now lead the Touch Business Group, while Campbell Kan, former Acer vice president and head of its mobile handheld division, will lead its PC Global Operations (PCGO). The creation of Acer’s new tablet division -- and its placement directly under the new company president’s responsibility -- underscores the company’s oft-stated shift toward a more aggressive mobile strategy
Meanwhile, Acer also cut its Q2 PC shipment forecast by 10 percent relative to Q1 Shipments. As a result, Acer is now on course to lose its second place rank in the global PC market to Dell, the company from whom Acer took the no. 2 spot in 2009, based on global PC market estimates that IDC and Gartnerreleased last week.
“Recent company reorganization, inventory adjustment and the seasonal slowdown of the PC industry in the second quarter are the main factors for Acer’s decline in PC shipments,” Acer said in a statement. “We must optimize multi-brand strategy by having clear differentiation of the brands’ positioning. Acer shall focus on developing selective models for mobile devices to lay a solid foundation for the future,” the statement said.
The re-adjusted forecast also marks the second time in less than a month that Acer cuts its PC shipment forecast -- all while disclosing its tablet strategy and changing its leadership to reflect its new focus. Acer in March offered an initial Q2 shipment forecast for its PC business, in which it predicted Q2 shipments to be flat.
Earlier this month, Acer said its Android-based Iconia Tab A500 will arrive in U.S. consumers hands on April 24, for a starting price of $449.99. The company’s competitive pricing is aimed at challenging Apple’s top-selling iPad 2 tablet, which also starts at $499.99.