Acer Sues Former CEO, Alleging Breach Of Noncompete Clause

Acer said Tuesday that it is suing former president and CEO Gianfranco Lanci in an Italian court, seeking damages for the alleged breach of a noncompete clause.

The Tawainese PC maker claims its former CEO breached a 12-month noncompete clause in his contract when he left the company in 2011. Lanci, who served as Acer CEO for three years and currently heads the EMEA PC unit at Acer rival Lenovo, stepped down from his role with Acer in March after struggling to "reach a consensus" with the board regarding the company’s future direction.

After parting ways with the company, Lanci took a consulting role in September with Lenovo. He was on-boarded to work with Lenovo CEO Yuanqing Yang and the rest of the company's leadership team to boost Lenovo's consumer presence and channels in Western Europe.

"As a consultant to us, Gianfranco brings years of expertise and insights to Lenovo that will help us strengthen our growing global consumer business," Lenovo said in a statement at the time.

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Four months later, Lenovo restructured its PC unit into four geographical segments -- North America, China, EMEA and Asia- Pacific/Latin America -- and tapped Lanci to head the EMEA segment.

Lenovo responded to Acer’s legal filing Wednesday by saying its relationship with Lanci meets all legal requirements, according to The Wall Street Journal.