How to Revive A Fading Brand

Stan Shih, who is regarded as the founding father of Taiwan's technology industry, wanted to create the first Chinese computer company known throughout the world. He succeeded—but victories in the PC business are rarely decisive. In late 2000, Shih confided to a colleague that Acer, the PC and electronics manufacturer he built into a global brand, was in deep trouble. "He told me that in the PC business, it's impossible to make a profit," recalls J.T. Wang, who became Acer's chairman and CEO in January when Shih retired.

Shih had plenty of reasons for pessimism. The brutally...

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