Acer CEO Welcomes Buyers, But Says They’ll Receive ‘Empty Shell’

Acer founder Stan Shih said during a press conference on Thursday that he's open to the idea of selling the company he created several decades ago. He didn't volunteer the information on his own, but was responding to a question about his willingness to engage in takeover talks, should they arise.

His response was "Welcome," adding that any buyer would get an "empty shell" after paying a premium price for the company, according to Reuters. It's a candid reply, though Shih wasn't being ornery. This is a man who took a startup and grew it into a billion-dollar company, retired in 2004, then returned to Acer in November 2013 to once again serve as chairman and president.

Stan Shih

"U.S. and European management teams usually are concerned about money, their CEOs only work for money. But Taiwanese are more concerned about a sense of mission and emotional factors," Shih said.

The question came up because of Acer's financial state. Acer posted big losses in 2011, 2012, and 2013 due in part to declining PC sales, and though it managed a $55.56 million profit in 2014, the first six months of 2015 have resulted in a $90 million loss.

Looking ahead, it doesn't appear Acer will see much short-term relief from the PC market, even with Windows 10 getting off to a fast start. Market research firm IDC forecasts that PC shipments will drop nearly 9 percent in 2015, marking the fifth consecutive year of declining growth.
Tags:  Acer, stan shih