Technology

Stan Shih

Stan Shih built Acer from a tiny chip distributor into one of the world's largest manufacturers of computers

Profile


Stan Shih, with his wife Caroline Yeh, started Acer in 1976 with only $25,000. By 2009, Acer had become the world’s second-largest PC maker, overtaking Dell by offering low-cost netbooks geared towards budget-conscious consumers during the economic slowdown.

For almost two decades, Acer was manufacturing computers for other companies, while also manufacturing similar computers under its own brand. Shih strived to make Acer a global brand name and turn around the then-poor image of products marked “Made in Taiwan”. In 2000, Shih formed Wistron to handle the OEM side so that Acer could focus on selling its computers. The company also acquired brands like Gateway and Packard Bell.

Shih retired in 2004 and shifted to charity work, but returned as chairman from 2013 to 2014 after a slump in global laptop demand caused a record financial loss. In recent years, Acer has seen a turnaround, with a new approach to ICT and Shih’s son Maverick heading its cloud computing services.

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As chairman of the Stan Shih Foundation, Shih co-produced The Sounds of Taiwan, the 2021 New Year Concert performed by the One Song Orchestra. He hopes to turn this annual concert into an event as recognized as the Vienna New Year’s Concert. 

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