It's tough times for Taiwan-based company Acer, which has seen its CEO J.T. Wang step down following less-than-stellar financial results. It's the second tech casualty in a week following the departure of BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins, who exited the company after it failed to secure a buyer.

The world's fourth-biggest computer maker saw sales plunge 11% year-on-year to $3.11 billion (around £1.9 billion, or AU$34.9 billion) during the quarter ending October 31.

It posted an operating loss of $86.61 billion (around £54 billion, or AU$91.3 billion), which the company put down to readying Windows 8.1 devices and related inventory management.

Brave face

Acer hasn't exactly shied away from experimentation in the Windows 8 arena - its flawed Iconia W3 was the first 8-inch tablet featuring Microsoft's tactile OS - and its hinge-toting R7 laptop took the unconventional approach of putting the trackpad above the keyboard.

But the company has struggled to bolster computer sales in the face of an increasingly competitive tablet market and weak global demand for laptops. It saw global PC shipments drop by 34.5 per cent year-on-year during the quarter, according to market watcher IDC.

Acer spades

Wang, who has led the company since 2008, will step down as CEO on January 1 but will stay on as chairman until the second quarter of 2014.

He is being succeeded by Acer President Jim Wong, who will be tasked with leading a significant restructuring program that will see 7% of the company's work force laid off, a move expected to save the company in the region of $100 million a year from 2014.

Though Acer says that it expects shipments for its notebooks, tablet PCs and Chromebooks to decrease by 10% in Q4 compared to the previous quarter, it expects profits to improve.