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Acer founder open to son heading the company in future

TAIPEI -- Acer Inc. (宏碁) founder Stan Shih (施振榮), who is trying to get the computer vendor back on track after three years of poor results, said on Monday that he is open to the possibility of having his eldest son, Maverick Shih (施宣輝), take over the company in the future.

Maverick Shih came to public attention on Jan. 23 when he was named president of Acer's BYOC (Build Your Own Cloud) and Tablet Business Group as part of the company's management reshuffle.

“I hope people will not put too much pressure on him. He needs to take more responsibility and learn as much as possible,” Stan Shih said at the Acer Digital Innovation awards ceremony when asked by reporters to comment on his eldest son's promotion.

“It is a matter of corporate governance and something the future management team will need to decide. I'll leave it as it is and expect him to contribute to the organization in his position,” said the 69-year-old founder, who returned to the struggling PC maker as chairman in November last year.

Maverick Shih, 40, joined Acer two years ago and gained sufficient experience in the cloud computing and software sectors relative to other Acer executives, making it natural to appoint him as the head of Acer's cloud business group, Stan Shih said.

In a bid to revive the company's waning fortunes, Acer announced organizational changes on Jan. 23 that included the establishment of a Notebook Business Group, a Stationary Computing and Display Business Group, and a Corporate Business Planning and Operations Group.

The Taipei-based manufacturer also renamed its cloud technology department the BYOC and Tablet Business Group and its e-enabling services as the e-Business Group.

The changes were triggered by Acer's after-tax loss of NT$7.63 billion (US$252.6 million), or a loss of NT$2.8 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2013, including an unexpected NT$1.3 billion write-off of raw materials inventory.

That followed a loss of NT$13.12 billion, or NT$4.82 per share, in the third quarter, driven largely by the write-down in value of intangible assets. That loss resulted in the resignations of former CEO J.T. Wang and Corporate President Jim Wong on Nov. 21 last year.

Shares in Acer edged down 0.83 percent to NT$17.95 in trading in Taipei on Monday. The market's benchmark index fell 1.58 percent on the last trading day before the Lunar New Year holiday.

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