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Zhenrong Shi Edit Profile

振荣 施

also known as Stan Shih

businessman

Stan Shih is the founder, president, and chairman of Acer Inc. In 1976, after receiving bachelor's and master's degrees in electronic engineering from National Chiao Tung University, Shih founded Multitech with his wife Carolyn Yeh and five partners.

Background

Stan Shih was born on December 18, 1944 in Chang-Hwa, Taiwan.

Education

Stan Shih graduated as a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan, 1968. He has also Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan, 1971 and Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan, 1992.

Career

Stan Shih started his career as an R&D engineer for an IC company, Uniworld. Among his engineer colleagues, Shih was the first person to commercialize the results of his own research, and he believes that companies should consider commercialization carefully and as early as possible. He invented the first desktop calculator in Taiwan, after which he was promoted to serve as the head of the semi-conductor unit.

Shih’s hard work and professional achievement had earned him respect in the industry, but in search of better growth opportunities he decided to leave the company and join an entrepreneurial team at Qualitron electronics. His major responsibility was to develop new computers and explore business opportunities in this product area. After working diligently on the assignment, he devised several attractive products including palm-top calculators. When Shih became the vice president of the company, he was sent to Los Angeles, California to attend the PPS4 conference held by the Rockwell Company, which was aimed to enable professionals to exchange ideas about computer central processing units (CPUs). This was the first time that Shih had come into contact with advanced microprocessor knowledge and technology, and it opened a new horizon for him. Leaving Qualitron for personal reasons, in 1976 Shih decided to start a new venture of his own, the Acer Company, in which microprocessors would be the core product in his business blueprint.

In the beginning, Acer was the sales and marketing agent for Zilog microprocessors, which were compatible with Intel’s microprocessor structure. Acer gained much information from this experience and turned the information into published knowledge, with its magazines entitled 0 and 1 Technology and The Third Wave. The outlets not only helped in marketing the Microprofessors computer series, but also made Third Wave Publishing one of the largest publishers of computer-related books. Furthermore, Shih’s global vision convinced him to incorporate international collaboration into the company’s growth strategy. Under his leadership, Acer was also the agent for Texas Instrument (TI) and AMD (Advanced Micro Devices). Meanwhile, Shih made great efforts in estab- lishing global supplier and customer networks and tried to learn as much as he could from those strategic actions. By the time the Microprofessors II series had been developed, Acer owned over 40 distributors in more than 20 countries and a logistics center in the Netherlands.

In order to take Acer from good to great, Shih firmly believed the best approach was to operate globally in diverse markets. To accomplish this goal, Shih instilled a number of critical elements into the company’s strategy and actions. These included, among others, becoming an international brand, mergers and acquisitions with international companies, and attracting international capital and funds. Acer recruited internationally to support its globalization and transformation goal. However, the inclusion of new human resources created drastic changes in the original personnel structure and was resisted by tenured employees. Furthermore, the rapid expansion through M&A did not generate the expected revenue. On the contrary, the cost and investment for the merged or acquired companies constituted potential impediments for profit sharing. The over-zealous transformation and misinterpretation of market trends forced Acer to face a difficult period.

Nevertheless, Acer managed to grow more gradually by applying its global marketing and brand strategies. Besides the US market, Acer’s experience in European markets has become an unrivaled success story. The smart design of effective products, and segment and channel strategies increased Acer’s shipment from 800 000 units in 1998 to over 2.8 million by 2003. In more recent years, expansion has been directed to mainland China because of the unstoppable trend of the powerful Chinese market in terms of both volume and human resources. From the beginning, Acer contributed to Chinese economic development by setting up production plants in the mainland. For instance, Acer Peripherals has moved its whole monitor manufacturing business to Suzhou. Moreover, Acer collaborated with major distributors in China, such as Digital China, to broaden the sales channels. Acer also entered a partnership with Suning, a Chinese electronics retailer, to bring Acer products to Suning’s chain stores in the Chinese mainland. This approach may enable Acer to continue to expand in China and reach its customers more directly.

Achievements

  • Achievements include designing, developing and commercializing Taiwan's first desktop calculator. Led a team that designed the world's first pen watch.

Membership

Board trustee Asia Business Council. Advisor Republic of China Presidential Office. Governor Asian Institute Management.

Member Taiwan Space Program Steering Committee. Member of Brand International Promotion Association (honorary chairman), Taipei Computer Association (former chairman).

Connections

Stan Shih is married Carolyn Shih. 3 children.

spouse:
Carolyn Shih