Acer sues former CEO Gianfranco Lanci for joining Lenovo

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Acer has sued former CEO and President Gianfranco Lanci for allegedly breaching a contract signed during his departure last year. Filed in Lanci's native Italy, the suit highlights a non-compete clause that barred Lanci from joining rival firms for 12 months -- a measure commonly taken when high-profile employees resign or otherwise exit a company.

Lanci purportedly violated that pact by joining Lenovo as a consultant last September, only six or seven months after striking the agreement (the contract was reportedly signed in February but Lanci left in March). Lanci's relationship with Lenovo expanded in January when the Chinese PC maker named him as the head of its new Europe, Middle East and Africa unit.

"We believe Mr. Lanci has breached his non-compete measures agreed into willingly by both parties when he left Acer," the company said. "We are taking legal action against him in order to protect Acer's rights and interests." "We believe we have a very robust case," the company continued. Acer seeks damages, though it hasn't mentioned any specific figures.

Lanci resigned last March following disagreements with Acer's board about the company's strategy. He joined the outfit in 1997 and helped guide to the world's second largest notebook vendor in 2008 and PC vendor in 2009 -- a position now held by Lenovo, ironically. Despite his contributions, Acer felt Lanci wasn't aggressive enough with smartphones and tablets.

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