AMD CEO Dirk Meyer Steps Down - InformationWeek

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Infrastructure // PC & Servers

AMD CEO Dirk Meyer Steps Down

Intel's recent record revenue and Advanced Micro Devices disappointing financial performance contributed to the company board's choice to seek new leadership; CFO Thomas Seifert will serve as interim CEO.

Advanced Micro Devices Chief Executive Dirk Meyer has resigned, as the company board looks for new leadership to reverse the company's lackluster financial performance.

The board said Monday it has appointed senior vice president and chief financial officer Thomas Seifert interim CEO and formed a search committee led by board chairman Bruce Claflin, who will take on additional responsibilities in overseeing company operations during the transition period. As acting CEO, Seifert, who joined the company in 2009, will continue his work as CFO and has asked not to be considered for the permanent CEO position.

During his two and a half years as chief executive, Meyer led the company through a number of company milestones, but failed to reverse several years of losses or boost sales growth equal to rival Intel's gains. AMD's revenue in the third quarter of last year came in at $1.62 billion, which was 16% higher year to year, but less than the company's forecast of $1.65 billion. Intel reported for the same quarter a 59% increase in profits to $3 billion on record revenue of $11.1 billion.

"The board believes we have the opportunity to create increased shareholder value over time," Claflin said in a statement. "This will require the company to have significant growth, establish market leadership, and generate superior financial returns. We believe a change in leadership at this time will accelerate the company's ability to accomplish these objectives."

Meyer was appointed chief executive in July 2008, replacing Hector Ruiz. Meyer was president and chief operating officer at the time. As CEO, Meyer led the spin off in 2009 of AMD's manufacturing operation into a joint venture with Advanced Technology Investment, which was formed by the Abu Dhabi government. Other company milestones that year included the $1.25 billion settlement of an antitrust lawsuit filed by AMD against Intel.

Meyer also oversaw the launch this year of AMD's most important product design in years. The company released at the Consumer Electronics Show microprocessors that combine graphics and CPU on the same piece of silicon, opening up a new battlefront in the company's long-running rivalry with Intel. AMD's new chips go up against Intel's similarly designed Sandy Bridge processors, which were also introduced at CES.

AMD also released preliminary results for the final quarter of last year. Revenue increased 2% from the previous quarter to $1.65 billion and gross margin was 45%. The company is scheduled to release final results Jan. 20.


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