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Acer Shih needs to stop worrying about management problems at Dell and start looking a bit closer to home
Ricky Morris, DIGITIMES, Taipei [Wednesday 8 July 2009]

Stan Shih, founder of Acer, has waded in with his opinion on the recent pair of pricing mix-ups by Dell Taiwan laying the blame on interference from Dell HQ, commenting that Dell Taiwan was slow to respond to the situation because the subsidiary does not have enough autonomy to make decisions without running them by management in the US. Shih added that this is a common problem with US and European businesses operating in Taiwan.

What makes Shih's comments interesting is that although Acer is still commonly referred to as a Taiwan-based company, for almost all intents and purposes, the company is run out of Europe, with CEO and president Gianfranco Lanci calling the shots.

Furthermore, over the past few years, individual departments based in Acer's Taiwan HQ offices have been placed under the authority of managers in Europe, or seen their roles transferred or outsourced outside of Taiwan (An analysis of how this transfer of power has tracked nicely with Acer's rise to the top-three spot in PC rankings is something better left for another time).

It does not take long to find Acer employees in Taiwan quick to echo Shih's comments that overseas management is out of touch with local day-to-day issues; only they are taking about problems in Shih's own company, not those of his closest competition.

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