Acer's CEO sets tone for revenue, margin growth in 2014
CNA Thursday, February 6, 2014, 12:04 am TWN
TAIPEI--Acer Inc. is set to boost its revenue, gross margin and operational efficiency this year as it continues restructuring efforts and bets its future on cloud computing technology, its top executive said Wednesday.
"We are aiming to improve our top line and bottom line, as well as operational efficiency," Acer CEO Jason Chen told reporters when he visited company founder and Chairman Stan Shih at Shih's house in Taipei.
One of the ways the struggling Taiwanese PC maker plans to increase its gross margin is by reducing its costs, including raw material costs, the executive said.
"We're quite optimistic about our operations this year and will address challenges step by step," Chen said.
The new CEO said he was leaving for Europe later on Wednesday to meet Acer's employees, suppliers and key customers.
He also intends to travel to mainland China, the United States and Singapore within a month to complete visits to Acer's four major regional headquarters for the first time since assuming his position on Jan. 1.
"It is expected to take some time and what matters is to explain the reasons for our organizational adjustment to everyone (employees)," Chen said. "I'm definitely confident in our big picture, and everyone should know about his or her role in it."
The Taiwanese firm's new vision is referred to as a "Build Your Own Cloud (BYOC)" strategy, which allows users to build their own cloud services for purposes such as managing music and photos on all Acer PCs and mobile devices.
In a move to turn itself into a "hardware plus software and services company," Acer also 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 led to the resignation of its former Chairman J.T. Wang and CEO Jim Wong in November.
Shares in Acer plunged 3.62 percent to NT$17.30 Wednesday in Taipei trading. The company lost 27 percent of its market value last year.
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