Former Acer boss teams up with rival Lenovo

Former Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci has landed a blow on his old company, having teamed up with rival Lenovo.

Lanci will take up his position as a consultant based in Italy, giving Lenovo top level insight into its competitor’s setup. The move is intended to strengthen Lenovo in Europe, particularly following the acquisition of German vendor Medion AG this summer, according to Digitimes

Lanci left Acer reeling after his departure, with mud-slinging aplenty over the blame for a drop in the Taiwanese firm’s fortunes. In fact, one of the factors in some poor financial figures recently were down to severance pay for executives, with Lanci reportedly receiving roughly $10 million on his way out. 

Despite some rather lightweight assurance from founder Stan Shih that Acer doesn’t give a hoot about the career trajectory of Lanci, Acer bosses are likely to be fuming.  There are no calls for an anti-trust case.

Acer’s corporate vice president Scott Lin also reckons that the chasm left by Lanci’s departure has been plugged, claiming that there is no fear of negative influence from Lanci in its Euro operations.

However, it is thought that as Lanci established Acer’s marketing team and retail networks in Europe, more could follow Lanci out the door and over to Lenovo.  This could hit inventory levels in Europe.

This would be another blow for Acer as it attempts to revive its fortunes, after taking too long to be an also-ran on the tablet boom.  The company has posted some dismal results recently, with its notebook business unable to offer any respite.

Lenovo, on the other hand, is looking towards a positive 2011, with a successful move into the densely populated tablet market. It expects that between 1.5 and two million tablets will be sold this year, though some doubt has been cast over the likelihood of this, say industry sources. 

It could all be a bit of bluster on Lenovo’s side as it seeks to attack tablet share despite weak markets in the US and Europe.

Lenovo will release its IdeaPad Tablet A1 at the end of the month for a bargain $199, as it stakes a claim for the low end tablet market. 

The majority of its sales for the year are expected to come from the estimated sales of 400,000 – 500,000 ThinkPads, and over a million IdeaPad K1s and other consumer tablets.