Former Acer president and chief executive Gianfranco Lanci is set to join Samsung next month in an unspecified role managing European channel sales, the Taiwan-based technology news outlet DigiTimes reported yesterday.
Lanci, who left Acer in March after an impasse with the company's board, is a well respected figure in the system builder channel and was credited for leading the company into the position it held in 2009 as the world’s number two notebook maker.
Samsung didn't respond to a request for comment on the DigiTimes report.
Todd Swank, director of marketing at Burnsville, Minn.-based system builder Nor-Tech, thinks the move would make sense for both parties. "I'm sure it's an attractive place for him to go. Samsung is going all out for the channel and it would be a good idea to go after someone with his experience," Swank said.
Swank thinks Samsung is appealing to Lanci because of its strong presence in the new mobile PC landscape once dominated by Acer. "Now the real players seem to be the phone guys. Samsung is absolutely a phone guy," said Swank.
Lanci came to Acer from Texas Instruments in 1997, following Acer's acquisition of Texas Instruments' TravelMate business. He was named president of Acer in 2005 and president and CEO in 2008.
At Acer, Lanci presided over booming sales of netbooks, but these quickly diminished after arrival of the iPad and other tablets. By the fourth quarter of 2010, research firm Display Search reported that sales of non-iPad tablets, mini-notebooks and netbooks were down 14 percent year over year.
Apple reigns over the tablet market but Samsung is considered the strongest competitor in the space so far. Samsung's first Android tablet, the 7-inch Galaxy Tab, captured 17 percent of the market share in Q4 2010, IDC reported. Samsung launched its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in June amidst ongoing patent litigation between Apple and Samsung.