AMD Chief Operating Officer Steps Down - InformationWeek

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AMD Chief Operating Officer Steps Down

The departure of COO Bob Rivet follows the resignation of CEO Dirk Meyer; Marty Seyer, senior VP of corporate strategy is also leaving the company.

 Bob Rivet
Bob Rivet
Bob Rivet, chief operating officer for Advanced Micro Devices, is leaving the company, roughly a month after chief executive Dirk Meyer stepped down.

AMD said Wednesday that Rivet, who joined the company in 2000 as CFO, was no longer COO as of Tuesday, but agreed to stay with the company through a brief transition period. No reason was given for the departure, other than saying Rivet had decided to "pursue new opportunities."

The company also said Wednesday that Marty Seyer, senior VP of corporate strategy, was leaving; the same vague reason was given for his departure.

Some reshuffling in the chain of command has occurred as a result of the changes. John Docherty, head of manufacturing operations, will report directly to interim chief executive Thomas Seifert, and the company's corporate strategy team will report to Harry Wolin, general counsel and secretary.

The latest departures follow Meyer's resignation last month over a disagreement with AMD's board over the company's direction, particularly its strategy for entering emerging markets beyond the PC, such as tablets and smartphones.

Meyer led a major restructuring of the company that included spinning off AMD's manufacturing operations into a separate company, GlobalFoundries. His work strengthened the company's core business of making processors for laptops, desktops, and servers, while shedding technology for emerging markets. For example, he dumped the company's digital TV operation, selling the system-on-chip (SoC) business to Broadcom for $192.8 million. He also sold the company's line of Imageon media-processing chips used in mobile phones to Qualcomm.

"The restructuring actions, like spinning out GlobalFoundries, reorganizing operations, and shedding the mobile phone media co-processor and DTV SoC businesses that enabled AMD's focus on PC products today, leaves the company without an answer for emerging opportunities for [AMD's] x86 [processors], such as media tablets and smartphones, which are the fastest growing segments driving the semiconductor market," Shane Rau, an analyst for IDC, told InformationWeek.

Seifert, AMD's CFO, is acting CEO while the board looks for a permanent replacement for Meyer, who was COO of AMD when he replaced Hector Ruiz in 2008 as CEO. AMD has said nothing about the progress of its search, but who the company picks to replace Meyer, and now Rivet, will provide a strong indication of the company's future direction.

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