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By | Simon Sharwood 24th December 2013 04:01

Acer names Jason Chen as its white knight

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company man steps into the CEO hot seat

Acer has named the man it thinks can dig it out of the hole created by the collapsing PC market.

Jason Chen, currently the senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), steps into the CEO and president's chair on January 1st, 2014.

Chen doesn't have a high profile but was Intel's vice president and general manager for the Asia Pacific until 2005, when he began his TSMC stint. His career kicked off at IBM. During his time at TSMC, the company's share price has headed in pleasing directions.

Financial media are describing Chen's appointment as a “surprise”. Acer's canned statement features Acer founder, former CEO and current chairman Stan Shih saying Chen is “... an excellent manager with extensive management experience and proven execution capability.”

“Acer’s search committee met with him on several occasions for in-depth dialogue and exchange of views,” Shih's press release writer adds. “We consider him to be the ideal executive to lead our transformation with his wealth of new thinking, international perspective, and willingness to face this challenge. Moreover, he shares the consensus on our strategy and development for Acer’s future.”

Chen will need to share that consensus because Shih will “continue to serve as chairman of Acer and chairman of the Transformation Committee.”

The decision to appoint Chen CEO reverses the strategy outlined in November that called for the post of CEO to be abandoned so that Shih could re-shape Acer at greater speed. Why the company has chosen to once again appoint a CEO has not been explained.

Chen faces many challenges. Aside from disappearing PC sales, the company recently posted a considerable loss and its share price is trending in an ugly direction

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