Ed Coleman will leave his post as CEO of Acer subsidiary Gateway at the end of January, according to reports. Coleman's departure paves the way for integrating Gateway with its new Taiwanese parent, which completed its $710 million Gateway acquisition in October. President of Acer Pan America Rudi Schmidleithner will assume Coleman's responsibilities. But we expect ruthless Acer chairman J. T. Wang to keep calling the shots back in Taiwan.
J.T. Wang, the chairman of Acer, looks like such a nice guy. But appearances are deceiving. The Taiwanese businessman is determined to keep his PC maker from becoming an also-ran. His company just announced plans to buy Gateway, the once-famed PC seller bruised by competition with Dell and Hewlett-Packard, for $710 million. The deal cuts at Chinese archrival Lenovo twice — first, by vaulting Acer past Lenovo into third place for PC market share. Second, by disrupting Lenovo's plans to buy Packard Bell, a fading PC brand that's still strong in Europe. Gateway, from a past acquisition, got rights of first refusal on any deal to buy Packard Bell — and Acer now plans to exercise those rights. Let's see — for a mere $710 million, Wang gets bragging rights, a bigger share of the vital U.S. market, and a way to bloody a rival's nose. Sounds cheap to me.