AMD's Meyer talks Intel settlement, ATI buyout

— 11:27 AM on December 22, 2009

Yesterday, we heard Intel CEO Paul Otellini sound off on the Federal Trade Commission's lawsuit. Now, we see Mercury News has snagged an interview with AMD CEO Dirk Meyer. Although Meyer didn't dwell on the FTC suit, he did talk about what Intel's antitrust troubles (and that juicy $1.25-billion settlement) mean for AMD and the industry. Meyer also revisited other topics, including AMD's acquisition of ATI in 2006.

According to the AMD CEO, the settlement and regulatory action mean the industry "has begun a new era with the benefits of fair and open competition, and a renewed focus on innovation for customers." Nevertheless, the CEO expects slow, gradual change from other parties:

The culture around this industry took years to create and people have psychologies that are informed by years of experience, and therefore I think the culture is going to take years to change. Having said that, we have seen opportunities open up over the course of this year and I would expect that to continue. As an example, we're seeing notebook design wins occur that didn't occur in the past.

Speaking of design wins, Meyer answered a question about AMD's market share aspirations by noting, "I'm not running the company that way." Rather, consistent profits and growth are the CEO's priority. That's probably a fair strategy—a bigger market share wouldn't necessarily help pull AMD out of another string of losses.

What about the 2006 ATI buyout? Was putting AMD so deep into debt worth it? "The strategic basis for the acquisition is more clear now than it ever was . . . I feel great about the fact that we've got a combination of assets that is ideally suited to what people want to do with computers," Meyer told Mercury News.

Finally, when asked if he would pursue a relationship with Intel's CEO, Meyer mentioned a "toxic form of relationship that's existed between these two companies' leaders in the past" before going on to say, "I think the best I can hope for is we continue to have not much of a relationship."

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