SAN FRANCISCO—Dirk Meyer, president and CEO of Advanced Micro Devices Inc., has resigned from the company after two years as its top executive, AMD said Monday (Jan. 10).
Thomas Seifert, AMD's chief financial officer and senior vice president, has been appointed interim CEO of AMD, the company said.
Meyer took the reins at AMD in July 2008, succeeding longtime chief Hector Ruiz. He first joined AMD in 1996.
AMD said Monday that Meyer resigned after reaching a "mutual agreement" with the company's board of directors.
In a statement, Bruce Claflin, chairman of AMD’s board of directors, said the board believed a change in leadership was required to help AMD capitalize on the opportunity to "create increased shareholder value over time."
"Given the abruptness of the departure, and the fact there is no transition period, it's pretty obvious Meyer and the AMD board came to loggerheads over something fairly substantial," said Paul McWilliams, editor of the technology investment newsletter Next Inning Technology Research, in a report to subscribers circulated late Monday. McWilliams said he didn't have enough background to guess about the specifics, but said of Meyer, "on balance, I was happy with the results he produced during his tenure."
Also Monday, AMD said preliminary results indicated that the company's fourth quarter sales increased 2 percent sequentially to about $1.65 billion. This total would exceed consensus analysts' expectations, which called for fourth quarter revenue of about $1.62 billion, according to Yahoo Finance.
AMD said it has formed a CEO search committee, led by Claflin, who has been named executive chairman of the board as he assumes additional oversight responsibilities during the transition period. Seifert will maintain his current responsibilities as CFO and has asked not to be considered for the permanent CEO position, AMD said.
Seifert joined AMD in 2009 and has more than 20 years of general management, global operations and financial management experience, according to AMD. He previously served as CFO and chief operating officer at Qimonda AG.
It seems the board did not feel AMD under Meyer would tackle smartphones/tablets. But I don't know if they should get into this field now, at this point. Intel's Atom already under pressure from ARM, why get into the same situation? I think board preferred Stotch's suggestion (license ARM). Alternatively, focus on driving the data center, e.g., addressing the memory bandwidth bottleneck that Mapou pointed out.
The problem for a long time has been Microsoft's monopoly. Microsoft dictates how the hardware will be built and also controls how the hardware capabilities are accessed. In addition, Microsoft's new "programming languages" are going in the exact opposite direction from what is needed for parallel programming. Microsoft, not Intel or AMD, controls the direction of the computing world. One of Microsoft's execs in charge of developments was recently quoted in InfoWeek as saying that Microsoft will approach parallel programming with multiple iterations of their operating system, lanugages, and development environment OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS! The hundreds of billions of dollars we'll have to spend between now and then on progressive iterations may benefit them, but it is a disaster for the economy.
Seems clear he was forced out. The story we are getting is that the board wanted to find someone else that they had more faith in for charting the long-term direction of the company. I've been hearing a lot of praise for Meyer, about what he did to lead AMD through some very difficult times. But it seems obvious the board didn't believe he was the best leader for AMD's future. I personally have heard nothing credible about possible acquisition.
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