Taiwan's Acer Sues Former CEO Over Move to Lenovo

Wednesday, 8 Feb 2012 | 9:01 PM ET

Taiwan computer maker Acer has sued its former chief executive, Gianfranco Lanci, saying he breached a non-compete clause in an agreement covering his departure from the company in 2011.

Bernhard Lang | Getty Images

Lanci left Acer abruptly at the end of March last year after a disagreement with other board members over the strategy needed to counter the runaway success of the tablet market, which has cannibalized Acer's profits.

He joined rival PC maker Lenovo as a consultant late last year to help develop its consumer business with a focus on Europe.

Acer said in a statement late on Tuesday that it filed the lawsuit in a court in Milan and was also seeking damages from Lanci, who is Italian and currently resides there.

It did not say how much it was seeking. The agreement covering Lanci's departure had a 12-month non-compete clause, it said.

"We believe Mr. Lanci has clearly breached the terms of the non-compete agreement he entered into willingly," the statement said. "This is about Acer defending a binding legal agreement with its former employee. We are taking legal action against him in order to protect Acer's rights and interests."

In a separate statement on Wednesday, Lenovo said it did not comment on pending litigation as a matter of policy, but added: "We are confident that our relationship with Mr. Lanci meets all legal requirements."

Lanci said after his departure that he left because the board wanted more focus on operations in Taiwan when he believed the company had to look abroad. Acer's chairman, JT Wang, responded at the time that Lanci had "hurt company's business foundation."

  Price   Change %Change


Contact Technology


    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More
  • Matt Hunter is the senior technology editor at CNBC.com.

  • Cadie Thompson is a tech reporter for the Enterprise Team for CNBC.com.

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.

  • Jon Fortt is an on-air editor. He covers the companies, start-ups, and trends that are driving innovation in the industry.

  • Lipton is CNBC's technology correspondent, working from CNBC's Silicon Valley bureau.

  • Mark is CNBC's Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bureau Chief covering technology and digital media.