Updated: AMD picks a CEO: former Lenovo COO Rory Read


— 9:34 AM on August 25, 2011

Over seven months after the departure of Dirk Meyer, AMD has finally found someone to fill his shoes. Say hello to Rory Read, age 49, former Lenovo President and Chief Operating Officer and, as of today, AMD CEO and board member. Here's what AMD has to say about him:

Rory P. Read spent five years at Lenovo. During his tenure as President and COO, Read led a global business turnaround that resulted in record market share gains, strong revenue growth and significant improvements in operating income.

Prior to Lenovo, Read spent 23 years at IBM where he held a broad range of management positions. While at IBM, Read consistently grew revenues while significantly improving the operating profitability for the groups under his management.

Read himself states:

"I'm very pleased to be joining AMD at this important time in its history. AMD is a true innovator and is uniquely positioned to lead the industry forward, delivering the next big thing both within the PC ecosystem and beyond," said Read. "AMD has strong momentum and the opportunity to continue profitably gaining share based on its highly differentiated products, solid financial foundation, and passionate and committed employees. I'm excited to be joining AMD's employees as we write the next chapter not just for the company, but for the industry and consumers around the world."

Read's arrival means that Thomas Seifert, who served as interim CEO after Dirk Meyer's resignation, has returned to his role as as AMD's Chief Financial Officer. Bruce Clafin has also dropped the "Executive" from his title and is now, once again, AMD's Chairman.

AMD will reveal more details about the transition during a conference call at 11:15 AM CDT this morning. The call is supposed to be relayed in real time on the AMD website, so curious souls should be able to listen in.

Update 12:48 PM: Based on what was said during the call, it sounds like Read's prior role as an AMD customer at Lenovo was a key factor in his selection as CEO. Read says he can play an "interesting" role at AMD by "bringing the voice of the customer" to the table.

Not so surprisingly, several folks in the Q&A session asked about how AMD intends to handle the looming threat from ARM in not just ultra-mobile devices, but also PCs. (Some have speculated that Dirk Meyer was ousted because of his failure to go after the ultra-mobile market more aggressively.) On that topic, Read and the other AMD execs on the call made no secret of their desire to go after ARM in "lower power bands." However, they also expressed optimism about the traditional PC industry, pointing out that there's plenty of room for growth in the developing world. AMD doesn't seem to see ARM as a threat to its core business—or if it does, it's downplaying that threat.

   
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