Gianfranco Lanci, the former leader of Texas Instruments, Acer and Lenovo, died Tuesday following complications during back surgery, according to an Italian news website.
The longtime technology leader was 68 and leaves behind a wife and three children, according to Hardware Upgrade, an Italian IT news site.
News of Lanci’s death shook the channel, and prompted outpourings from the leaders at HP, Google, and Nutanix.
“I’m deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Gianfranco Lanci, a true giant of our industry. Throughout his remarkable career, he was both a fierce competitor and consummate professional. All of us who had the opportunity to meet and spend time with Gianfranco are better for it,” HP CEO Enrique Lores wrote on LinkedIn.https://www.linkedin.com/embed/feed/update/urn:li:share:7026768566838300672
Google VP and General Manager of ChromeOS John Solomon — who spent 14 years at HP — called Lanci an “absolute icon” of the PC industry.ADVERTISEMENT
“We all knew we could only learn from him, whatever side of the table we sat on,” he wrote on LinkedIn. “In today’s world it was rare to find an operationally focused leader who eschewed email and focused on the real conversation.”
Tarkan Maner, former CEO of Wyse who is now chief commercial officer with Nutanix, described Lanci as a “respected competitor.”
“You have been a true gentleman. A trusted partner and respected competitor at time,” he said. “Condolences to his beautiful family and loved ones.”
Lanci rose to president of Texas Instruments in EMEA before joining the computer brand Acer in 2001. He became president and CEO in 2008, and was known for his outspoken style.
Lanci was one of the first executives to publicly criticize Microsoft over Windows Vista, telling the Financial Times in 2008 “the whole industry is disappointed” with the operating system.
During his six years at Acer, Lanci was credited for leading Acer into the the position of No. 2 notebook PC maker in the world in 2009. He left Acer in 2011 after a fight with the board over the future direction of the company, then joined Lenovo.
There he was EMEA-focused at the beginning, helping Lenovo integrate an acquisition of a German company. However following a corporate restructuring, the board named Lanci president of the EMEA group. He eventually rose to president and COO before leaving the company in September 2021.
During his later years, Lanci, who was born in Turin, Italy, was focused on finding sustainable ways to grow wine.
Lanci owned a group of wineries and a combined 80 hectacres of vineyards in the Monferrato and Langhe territories of Italy. They produced on average 700,000 bottles a year, according to the site Hardware Upgrade.
In a statement released to a Taiwan business news outlet, Acer expressed its condolences to Lanci‘s family.
O’Ryan Johnson is a veteran news reporter. He covers the data center beat for CRN and hopes to hear from channel partners about how he can improve his coverage and write the stories they want to read. He can be reached at [email protected]..