Founder-CEO Succession at Acer
Posted: 14 Feb 2012
Date Written: January 11, 2011
Stan Shih, founder-CEO of Acer, Inc., had proactively chosen and transitioned the "perfect" successor as CEO, but was now faced with major problems. Over the last two years, his heir apparent, Leonard Liu, had made the changes he had been hired to make, including revamping the organization structure and instilling a new corporate culture that emphasized accountability. However, such changes had caused numerous clashes between him and other co-founders of the company, in particular, Shih's wife, Carolyn. Liu had now suggested that "Carolyn should retire into her kitchen." Faced with office infighting and increasing clashes between the markedly different Western and Chinese styles of management, Shih needed Liu to manage the increasing complexity of global competition. However, Shih was now wondering if he had made the right decision to appoint Liu as his successor.
Learning Objective: Examine the full life cycle of a founder's involvement in his startup.
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