Lisa Su promoted to AMD CEO as Rory Read steps down

Well, this is unexpected. AMD has announced that Rory Read, who’s served as CEO since August 2011, has stepped down. The company’s board has chosen Dr. Lisa Su, its former Chief Operating Officer, to replace him—"effective immediately."

SUNNYVALE, CA–(Marketwired – Oct 8, 2014) – AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced that its board of directors has appointed Dr. Lisa Su as president and chief executive officer and member of the board of directors, effective immediately. Dr. Su, 44, succeeds Rory Read, 52, who has stepped down as president and chief executive officer, and member of the board of directors, as part of a transition plan. Read will support the transition in an advisory role, remaining with the company through the end of 2014.

"Leadership succession planning has been a joint effort between Rory and the board and we felt that Lisa’s expertise and proven leadership in the global semiconductor industry make this an ideal time for her to lead the company," said Bruce Claflin, chairman of AMD’s board of directors. "The board looks forward to continuing to work with Lisa and the rest of the senior management team to build on the company’s momentum. I would also like to thank Rory for his many accomplishments and contributions positioning AMD for long-term success by helping to create a strong foundation and clear path to re-establish the company’s growth and profitability."

In the press release, Su is quoted as saying, "I look forward to expanding on the strong foundation we have built under Rory’s leadership as we develop industry-leading technologies and products for a diverse set of markets to drive sustainable and profitable growth."

AMD plans to shed more light on this development in a conference call later today.

The change of leadership comes after continued financial struggles for the chipmaker. Although it posted its first profit in over a year thanks to the arrival of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One last October, AMD was in the red again earlier this year, with net losses of $20 million and $36 million in the first and second quarters of 2014, respectively. Nonetheless, AMD says Read’s leadership has seen it make "significant progress in financial and operational performance," with operational expenditures down 30% and cash reserves at "near an optimal level of $1 billion" since 2012.

Update 5:01 PM: Now that the AMD conference call is over, we have a somewhat clearer sense of what unfolded today and why.

For starters, Read made it clear that Su has been groomed to succeed him as CEO from the start. Addressing the timing of the change, Read said, "The part I’m good at, I’ve already done." The former CEO explained that Su’s more product-centric background makes her a better candidate to steer AMD through the next phase of its transformation, which will involve, among other things, the ramp-ups of Project Skybridge and the K12 architecture.

Su also outlined her goals for AMD’s future, which don’t sound too different from those Read had already set. AMD’s "highest priority" will be to "build great products," she said. The company will also seek to forge more "strategic relationships with market leaders" as it’s already done with Sony and Microsoft for the current crop of consoles. Finally, Su said she will "continue to simplify the company and speed up [its] execution."

Read plans to stay on as an adviser to Su and AMD for the time being. No new COO has been named; instead, Su will incorporate her former duties into her new job.

Update 6:16PM: Here’s our take on why this transition took place.

Comments closed
    • rika13
    • 5 years ago

    RIP AMD, you were awesome when Sanders was running things. Unfortunately, the successors just aren’t Jerry Sanders III. Su should have posters of herself dressed up as Indiana Jones like Sanders did.

    • ronch
    • 5 years ago

    Few of us have even ever heard of the name ‘Rory Read’ before he took the role of CEO at AMD. I remember the long months back in 2011 after the shocking resignation of Dirk Meyer when AMD went chugging along without a CEO. And it wasn’t just a month or two, it was seven months. Seven months. The world’s 2nd largest supplier of microprocessors and the only company acting as an alternate source for x86 processors went for seven months without a CEO.

    Then I remember being a little shocked, a little skeptic, and a little relieved when AMD finally announced that they’ve found a CEO, and he was from Lenovo. I didn’t know what to make of him and I couldn’t size him up (like I could do it with someone I’ve never even met), but I read about his academic background and his winning streak at Lenovo and he appeared to be a smart guy, so I thought AMD picked a fine man to lead their company.

    But now that it looks like Rory was also ousted (I’m not sure I completely buy what AMD is saying), it seems to me the AMD board is practically the one running the show, and their CEO is really just their puppet and they could replace him anytime. What good is the CEO then?

    I know it’s this way with other companies as well but with AMD switching CEOs every few years it’s like the AMD CEO position is just a hollow title.

    And the latest guy to ever have the pleasure of sitting on the CEO’s chair and being the board’s puppet is now also being sacked. Poor Rory. AMD is a tough ship to run and it’s tough looking for someone who’d be willing to risk his reputation to run such an embattled company, and as usual, the CEO is being unceremoniously removed from his position.

    By who? The board, of course. The board is quick to blame their puppet but shouldn’t the board get as much flak as well? I think the entire board should also get sacked and replaced by people who really know how to run AMD.

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 5 years ago

      Same deal as HP. As I said at the time – the board should have been ousted. Dirk took a lot of flak for doing what the board wanted.

      Part of the problem is the culture at AMD where people are still getting ridiculous bonuses for an underperforming company.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 5 years ago

      1) No poor Rory Read. He knew what he was being hired to do and he did it. He’s not a victim in any way.

      2) The Board does not take enough flak. They were the ones that pushed Dirk out when he refused to refocus AMD on ARM chips and tablets and smartphones. They had been unhappy about his reluctance to do netbooks until it was way too late and the fad was done for. They cut him when he refused to do the cutting that they felt was necessary to properly maximize the value the company should have (ie., for investment or sale).

      3) That’s why they hired “poor” Rory Read. They wanted someone who could cut all the extraneous crap and who would not be afraid to do it for fear of either hurting people’s feelings OR being held accountable later when they got rid of him, too. They hired him like a janitorial service. He’d come in, clean the place out, and then leave as abruptly as he came in. In this, he was a success.

      4) Now they need a new face to make the company look shiny again. They needed someone they could quickly throw under a bus (ie., the glass cliff as someone else said) at a moment’s notice should their current strategy fail. And they needed someone who had the chops to look like “A New Hope” for the moment as they have AMD looking around for either a new investment OR a new option for being bought out.

      5) As long as AMD looked like the cash-losing company of old, they’d never get either option on the table. Now they get the benefit of a “smaller” company with the promise of a new technically-minded CEO that is moving the company in the direction of ARM-based chips and APU’s while avoiding competing directly with Intel who is the giant that might step on them. Nevermind that this has led to them losing sales hand over fist, it looks good from the outside because those lack of sales were under the “old guy” who’s on the way out, right? It was all his fault. Even as they wait to transition, they can still blame any shortcomings for the next three months on Rory as Su slowly takes over the machinery.

      6) Even in 2016, failures will be blamed on Rory and he’s fine with it because that’s what he came in to be. A fall guy. He’s the bad guy. He did the cuts, he trimmed the departments, he set the focus, and so when they have nothing, it’ll all be “Rory’s fault.” Su gets to look golden for years to come just as Dirk took the fall last time and Rory got to seem like the guy who was just in front of a HUGE COMEBACK.

      7) The Huge Comeback Myth is going to be the centerpiece in AMD’s efforts to get new investment or a buyout offer. They’ll always have the promise of something new and awesome in a year or so. Don’t you want to be in on the ground floor of the new hotness? Unfortunately, for people who have watched AMD a long time, we know that’s their standard operating procedure. They did this with Phenom, with Phenom II, with Bulldozer, APU’s in general, and they’ve executed on this strategy exactly one time with success. That success was mostly born on the back of Intel’s mistakes, not AMD’s good choices.

    • anotherengineer
    • 5 years ago

    When will a 1280 shader, single 6 pin, 4GB Tonga card be out Dr.Su?

    • BabelHuber
    • 5 years ago

    I would love to see AMD succeed, but somehow I doubt it.

    They had one opportunity, this was the Athlon64 and the according Opterons.

    Back then they had about 30% market share in desktops [b<]and[/b<] servers (IIRC) - and they made money. They should have focused on releasing an Athlon64-successor in time for the C2D (~2006). But they got left behind in 2006, and never recovered. Now it's like 1997/1998 again, when the K6 had its strengths, but was only found in cheap systems - which is not exactly good for brand recognition. The original Athlon in 1999 changed this situation of course. So what AMD now needs is something like this. Something that is competitive with Intel at least and superiour at best. Perhaps the ARM server-chips can fill this role, or the new x86-design turns out to be a winner, or HSA takes off. >Let's see.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 5 years ago

    AMD… I the board of AMD has pushed for, allowed and executed very poor leadership in the past 5 years. Spinning off globalfoundries was a bad decision, they should have mastered that function rather than retreating from it. The company as a whole has been retreating from markets w/o having meaningfully grown into the sectors they are aiming at.

    Sure the PS4 and Xbone are design wins but that seems to be all they have, and that doesn’t seem to be enough to right the ship. No company has grown by chopping itself to bits. Moreover spinning off divisions is a dubious proposition in so much as the function you are selling is either a asset or a liability. Trying to spin off a liability as an asset doesn’t really work! Spinning off an asset, well you tell me how that makes a company grow in profits, market share, value, and size…. trick question, it doesn’t.

    The best corporate strategy for overcoming stagnation or decline is doubling down and maybe pursuing acquisitions, we can all think of a dozen companies who have done this to survive with relatively strong results, inversely we can probably all site a dozen companies who cannibalized themselves and died or diminished as a result.

    • Silus
    • 5 years ago

    It’s “interesting” to watch a company with a huge debt, with uncompetitive products across its core markets, not investing much in huge markets, playing CEOs for 8 years – one steps down, receives a huge bonus for his/her amazing job of destroying the company a bit more and another takes his/her place.

    They had a mid-long term plan when they bought ATI. It backfired on them, not due to the products that were created from that, but because they payed way too much for it and are still reaping the consequences of that. Right now, AMD has no plan except surviving a bit more until reaches such a low value, that it’s bought in pieces by other companies. This continuous “who’s the next CEO” play, is a definite sign of that IMO.

      • sschaem
      • 5 years ago

      Even if AMD paid half, nothing would have chnaged.

      BTW, in the day where people buy video codec for >6 billion, googles for 4+ billion, and trivial phone apps for multi billion. 4 billion for a treasure trove of pattent, decade of experience in a complex market, and pionere in mobile SoC with contract with almost all big cell phone producer in the work when the market was about to explode doesn’t sound bad.

      The bad part was dismantling ATI , in effect turning their billion investment and selling it to competitors. So the CEO could better focus on a mythical CPU that would kill intel in one swoop.

      If AMD operated ATI like more like nvidia, AMD would have made 5 time over their investment already since the purchase. And just the Mobile & Digital division would be worth more then AMD as a whole.

        • ronch
        • 5 years ago

        AMD did approach Nvidia first but Jen Hsun Huang wanted to run the combined company. Hector cared more about his reputation than giving AMD a better future. I kinda wish AMD just went with Nvidia and Jen became CEO. That guy has real Vision (pun intended).

          • sschaem
          • 5 years ago

          I agree, I think AMD + nvidia could have been HUGE.

          Jen having worked at AMD probably knew all that was wrong and knew if the management was not changed nvidia+AMD would be a failure. So no point in any deal.

          nvidia is now almost 5 time the size of AMD. (market cap)
          AMD had to sell everything, fab and all, and go into billions of debt.
          While nvidia is cash rich, profit galore.

          I think even if AMD was run by ATI thing would also have been different.
          AMD would probably be the qualcomm of our day.

        • Silus
        • 5 years ago

        I don’t agree with that assertion (that it wouldn’t be different, if AMD payed half), simply because when a company buys another, they have to stay financially sound after it. Had they payed half of what they did, AMD would have much lower interest rates, which in turn would be sustainable given AMD’s current “profitability”.
        Just look at AMD’s financial reports. They are making money, but their debt obligations are so large, that their profits aren’t enough to cover them. Paying so much for ATI was the main problem.

        I do agree with you that selling the mobile division for example, was another huge mistake, but it only happened, because they needed money to sustain their core markets…and they needed money, because they payed way too much for ATI.

          • sschaem
          • 5 years ago

          I can see that. this would have saved them 1.2 billion of debt. and at 10% thats 120 million saving a year. or about 840 million in interest so far (not counting all the refinance charge and all)

          So yea. AMD would be 1 billion richer, and 1 billion less in debt…. And so cover their current debt.

          The math seem to show that AMD would be debt free is this senario,
          and also so record 200 million a year extra profit from not having to pay interest.

          Considering AMD paid , whats 5.4 billion for ATI and now ATI+AMD is barely worth 2 billion. something else happened along the way 🙂

          note: they sold the mobile division for 65 million. and this was a profitable division.

    • USAFTW
    • 5 years ago

    Excited. She’s AMD’s Jen Hsun-Huang.

      • ronch
      • 5 years ago

      And let’s hope she really is. AMD’s graphics division has been pretty much just coasting along since Rory took the helm. The HD7000 series came in shortly after Rory became CEO and since then we’ve only got the same HD7000 series rebranded as the Rx 2xx series, and although 290/X was a slight modification of GCN, it was only used for 290/X, and Tongga is also a big snoozer as far as evolution goes.

        • ermo
        • 5 years ago

        I would argue that for the apparent small investment in new tech on die, Tonga at 28nm w/384bit memory interface and small tweaks is poised to deliver a reasonable boost to performance and performance/watt by dint of its cache compression tech and reallocation of resources.

        Not to mention the fact that it is now a very mature and well understood product on a mature process node, which probably makes it fairly cheap to produce while sustaining a reasonable low-defect yield.

        It’s also not a stretch to imagine that this tech will go a long way in a process-shrinked R9 290/X successor with a 512bit memory interface @4K resolutions.

        Enough to beat Maxwell? Probably not. But I’m sure AMD will find a way to make these successors competitive on the price/performance curve while maintaining a decent enough margin.

    • Tristan
    • 5 years ago

    Dr. Su is semi-woman 🙂

    • ronch
    • 5 years ago

    Read: “The part I’m good at, I have already done. I can’t do this anymore!!! (bends knees) AMD is a tough ship to run. I wish I never took this CEO role but hey, they lured me in with a nice compensation package, company stock, and a big golden parachute back in 2011 and they promised me running AMD would be a piece of cake especially with Bulldozer waiting in the wings ready to crush Sandy Bridge. Boy was I duped! A big hole I got myself into especially with Bulldozer! But not to worry, we’ve got Lisa Su, Mark Papermaster and Jim Keller to right this ship. Bye!”

      • Tristan
      • 5 years ago

      What exactly RR did ? Do not see any sinifcant changes. CPU still crappy, GPU marketshare without changes, traditional internal mess and lack of efficiency at the same level. We have more slideware and less workers to minimize losses. AMD captured SOC for consoles, mainly because NV and Intel was not interested to make low-profit products. And they was right – SOC gave only two quarters ‘turbo’, and no more. ARM ? – more virtual than real.

    • ronch
    • 5 years ago

    Don’t you just loooovvee that picture of Rory and Lisa having a little chat? Such a sweet couple! It’s the perfect Nescafe moment!

    • TwoEars
    • 5 years ago

    VIDEO:

    [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmrqPJigiVc#t=182[/url<]

    • ronch
    • 5 years ago

    Lisa Su’s employment history: Texas Instruments > IBM > Freescale > AMD.

    Where to next, Dr. Su? 🙂

      • NeelyCam
      • 5 years ago

      HP?

      • Ninjitsu
      • 5 years ago

      Intel?

    • ronch
    • 5 years ago

    Rory was celebrated at Lenovo for record growth quarter after quarter and year after year. With AMD it seemed like he couldn’t repeat his winning streak.

    Not too long ago I read a book about Warren Buffett. It said that some companies are ‘naturally’ well-positioned for success, that no matter who you put at the helm, the company will do great and that CEO will look awesome for doing a good job. But there are also companies that will do bad given the nature of their business and their position in the industry, and it wouldn’t matter who you put on the CEO’s seat. We could bring Steve Jobs from the dead to run AMD but he probably wouldn’t be much good.

    I wish AMD would realize this instead of replacing their CEO more often than than we replace light bulbs.

      • NeelyCam
      • 5 years ago

      Rory was hired to turn around a sinking ship – profitability wise. He slashed and burned until AMD stopped bleeding money. In that sense, he did a great job.

      Technically he’s not at Dr. Su’s level, and would be the wrong person to lead AMD forward. But he did his job, and he did it well, imo

        • Tristan
        • 5 years ago

        He did great job ?
        – selling buildings
        – firing 30% workers
        – make new huge debts

        Great restructuring philosophy.

          • jihadjoe
          • 5 years ago

          A lot of cancer treatments involve judicious excision of tissue too. I’m not saying he was entirely in the right, but it appears he did just what the board wanted him to do, and now Dr. Su is taking over for the rehabilitation.

          • Anonymous Coward
          • 5 years ago

          Perhaps you would prefer a CEO who is not bound by reality.

      • nanoflower
      • 5 years ago

      I think if you could bring Steve Jobs back to run AMD he might be able to make the company a success. Though it would happen because he changed the company’s direction and moved them into completely new markets while leaving the CPU/APU market behind. I just don’t see AMD ever being a success in those markets.

      • sschaem
      • 5 years ago

      I disagree on the “Steve Jobs” prediction.

      I think he would find unique people to put the GPU division on top, and create a new buz.
      He most likely would be able to better negotiate big contracts, etc…

      CEO need to guide the company, not just day to day operation.

      For example, woulkd Steve job sold ATI mobile SoC division to qualcomm ?
      Or would he have realize that this profitable group of ATI was on to something and instead run with it ?

      He most likely would have try to get AMD more involved, VS having OEM drive the market.
      etc..

      Do you really think Steve Jobs would let ANY of AMD marketing blunder go unanswered ?

      Nha, a good CEO running AMD could turn around the company .

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 5 years ago

        Notice that Jobs turned Apple around via entering and redefining unexploited markets, not fighting battles against wealthy entrenched competitors in mature non-growth markets.

      • flip-mode
      • 5 years ago

      Steve Jobs would make some great looking CPUs and patent the shape of the heat spreader.

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 5 years ago

        Presumably he would have launched a line of candy-coated Durons before transitioning to various other packaging strategies, before finally entering unexploited new markets mostly unrelated to semiconductors, and meeting with great success, while AMD & ATI’s products remained distinctly average, then he would have crowned the whole thing buy dying before his new market matured and he had to confront real competition.

    • ronch
    • 5 years ago

    Except for Jerry, it seems to me that every CEO who ran AMD was ousted or stepped down unceremoniously. What a great company to be CEO of.

    • ish718
    • 5 years ago

    Now it’s time for someone else to step down as well, his name is Bulldozer.

    • exilon
    • 5 years ago

    What else did they say in the conference call to make AMD stock drop 7% in the span of 10 minutes?

      • 3SR3010R
      • 5 years ago

      An unexpected change of CEO just a week before earnings are released has the market thinking that AMD will report poor numbers. And they are probably right otherwise AMD would have announced the CEO change then.

    • NeelyCam
    • 5 years ago

    AMD finally has a good CEO. I’m excited to see what’ll happen.

      • chuckula
      • 5 years ago

      Dirk was an engineer too….

        • NeelyCam
        • 5 years ago

        He was an MBA, with a B.Sc in engineering – nowhere near Dr.Su’s engineering pedigree. UIUC is a good school, but a UIUC B.Sc is not really equivalent to an MIT Ph.D..

          • sschaem
          • 5 years ago

          And thats what you need to run a multinational? a Ph D… in engineering ?

          Its like NASA hiring people with MBA to run lead mars rover propulsion team.

          AMD weak point is marketing / relation with OEM / internal policy / strategic decisions (not choosing a L3 cache design) / etc..

          L. Su would be better leveraged as a group manager with hands on with engendering, not as a high level officer.

          The reason she is there, is because they have no other option.

          Read is bailing out, and AMD had a HELL of a time to find him in the first place (if anyone recall after the last CEO was fired)

          • ronch
          • 5 years ago

          Dirk may not have an academic background that’s as good as Lisa Su, but he’s got a few big engineering accomplishments under his belt. The DEC Alpha was once the world’s fastest CPU and the original K7 Athlons really turned things around for AMD back then. He’s a great engineer, probably more so than Jim Keller, but he’s just not CEO material. That’s where AMD made a mistake to make him CEO just because he seemed like the next guy in line after Hector.

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 5 years ago

    So I guess the biggest question is,

    Do real women have fabs?

      • Klimax
      • 5 years ago

      I doubt we’ll get an answer to this with AMD…

    • jdaven
    • 5 years ago

    It’s a great trend to see more women in tech leadership roles. Congratulations Dr. Su!

      • chuckula
      • 5 years ago

      I don’t really give a rat’s-posterior if AMD has a man, woman, or Kraken running things. I’m more interested in finding out if they have a plan to compete well in any market other than video cards*. There’s been a lot of hot air, a lot of spinning things off, and not so much killer instinct.

      * where they only do well because they bought a company that already did just that… they oughta go back to calling it ATI if they want to be honest.

        • ronch
        • 5 years ago

        Is it just me who thinks that every time Rory bends his knees when giving speeches he looks like he’s a little on the woman side of the fence? Not that I care, mind you, as long as he fixes AMD up.

        Oh, and didn’t AMD just celebrate 30 years of gaming and graphics? /s

        • anotherengineer
        • 5 years ago

        [url<]http://www.quickmeme.com/img/1d/1db5b9aa583838540e00578b1464e9c58631e33113aba5416e6d897202a43196.jpg[/url<]

    • Tristan
    • 5 years ago

    They probably know performance characteristic of their next-gen Zen.

    • Geonerd
    • 5 years ago

    CAUTION: Corporate psychopaths at play!

    (Watch for stray flying knives.)

    • curtisb
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]Read said, "The part I'm good at, I've already done."[/quote<] [quote<]Su also outlined her goals for AMD's future, which don't sound too different from those Read had already set.[/quote<] Neither of those statements should give shareholders any warm fuzzies given the way things are currently going for AMD.

    • Sam125
    • 5 years ago

    The timing is a bit curious but otherwise it seems innocuous enough. I’m guessing Rory Read had already done everything he set out to do at AMD; which was fix its execution problems, devise a new strategy where they would no longer need to compete directly with Intel and cut costs until AMD were at least minimally profitable.

    Now that, that’s done it sounds like he wants to take his money and exit stage left while Dr. Su will stay on to realize the details of the new direction and and with her at the top signal to everyone that AMD is stressing products design over simply shuffling its executives around.

    That’s the way I see it anyway. This announcement sounds neutral-positive to me in terms of news for AMD.

    • akaronin
    • 5 years ago

    Congratulations to Dr. Lisa Su… now release the Kraken… and make nVidia and Intel feel the pain ! 😀

      • chuckula
      • 5 years ago

      Believe me, any Krakens they have around there are free-range Krakens.

    • tipoo
    • 5 years ago

    Someone with years of CPU engineering experience as head of a CPU engineering company? INSANITY!

      • Pbryanw
      • 5 years ago

      I think AMD finally realised what they needed was a Doctor to resuscitate it.

      • Tristan
      • 5 years ago

      Dirk Meyer also was great CPU designer – Alpha CPUs
      And he decided to make Bulldozer…

        • tipoo
        • 5 years ago

        That’s fair, it’s no guarantee of goodness. But hopefully she’ll be better than some of AMDs non-engineering CEOs.

          • Anonymous Coward
          • 5 years ago

          The only thing they need to engineer is better price per performance than Intel is willing to offer. They will never win outright, they must hide in the shadows, surviving on profit margins that Intel is not interested in. Its pretty impossible to imagine another “perfect storm” like A64 vs P4.

        • ronch
        • 5 years ago

        The specifications for Bulldozer were frozen by the time Dirk even became CEO. I don’t think he’s the only guy who deserves flak for it. Remember, K10 and BD were both started during Hector’s watch, and given how AMD was riding high from 2000 – 2007 one would think AMD could’ve cooked much more powerful cores given all the money they’re raking in.

          • sschaem
          • 5 years ago

          Hector is not a CPU architect. Meyer was in charge of this, before he was CEO and after.

          After he became CEO, not only the design was still ‘his’ but he also shift the entire company to “x86 server”, you know the “future”.

          A CEO cant design more powerful core.. but he can put the company on a track.
          For example, in 2007 people saw the value of mobile computing, AMD didn’t and divested all its interest to qualcomm, and in turn lost many top designers to Apple and other key players.

          Thats what a CEO should do, read the road and dont drive the car over a cliff.

        • the
        • 5 years ago

        There were some good idea behind Bulldozer’s design but it was ultimately unbalanced in many ways. AMD should have taken a queue from Intel and used a micro-op cache for their L1 to by pass the bottle necked decoders.

          • ermo
          • 5 years ago

          Didn’t AMD actually take that cue from intel with the most recent iteration of the BD design?

          They identified that the decoders were indeed a bottleneck and added dedicated decoders while making the L1 caches and their prefetch + branch prediction mechanisms better.

          Better late than never I guess. Too bad it happened so late in the cycle so as to be [i<]too[/i<] late for all practical purposes; odds are that the FX platform CPUs will likely never see the Steamroller-specific tweaks. Schade.

      • sschaem
      • 5 years ago

      Yep, a recipe for disaster. Case in point D. Meyer.

      • flip-mode
      • 5 years ago

      Yeah because Dirk was great.

    • Laykun
    • 5 years ago

    “AMD plans to shed more light on this development in a conference call later today.”

    For some reason I started reading it as “AMD plans to shed more staff …”

      • 3SR3010R
      • 5 years ago

      A reorganization is in the works so expect more shedding of staff.

        • Larson
        • 5 years ago

        He must have gotten to the one where it said “Prepare 3 envelopes…”

    • TwoEars
    • 5 years ago

    From amd.com

    “Dr. Su spent the previous 13 years at IBM in various engineering and business leadership positions, including vice president of the Semiconductor Research and Development Center responsible for the strategic direction of IBM’s silicon technologies, joint development alliances and semiconductor R&D operations. Prior to IBM, she was a member of the technical staff at Texas Instruments in the Semiconductor Process and Device Center (SPDC).

    Dr. Su has bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She has published more than 40 technical articles and was named a Fellow of the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) in 2009. Dr. Su was named “2014 Executive of the Year” at the EETimes and EDN 2014 ACE Awards and was honored in MIT Technology Review’s Top 100 Young Innovators in 2002. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Analog Devices.”

    She seems to have a really solid technical background but does she have the CEO kill-or-be-killed mindset it will take to compete against intel/arm/nvidia? Time will tell.

      • Flapdrol
      • 5 years ago

      That kind of mindset is what got them in trouble in the first place and is the last thing amd needs now.

        • TwoEars
        • 5 years ago

        If you don’t have killer instincts a fair bit of low cunning will do just as well, perhaps even better. But you need something, it can be a pretty dirty game at the top.

        It is rarely enough to be a tech genius and a “nice guy”, if so your product will have to be extraordinary. To compete against intel/arm/nvidia you’ll have to be fairly shrewd.

          • jihadjoe
          • 5 years ago

          From past features on ARM (mostly at Anandtech) I get the impression that their folks are actually very nice guys. But then ARM itself doesn’t do manufacturing so maybe it’s up to Qualcomm, Samsung and others to be their bruisers.

    • maxxcool
    • 5 years ago

    Woha.. nice skid marks…

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<] as we develop industry-leading technologies [/quote<] [url<]http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20140627170443/clubpenguin/images/7/78/481px-Wat.jpeg[/url<]

      • wizpig64
      • 5 years ago

      TressFX I guess? oh and HMA.

        • Deanjo
        • 5 years ago

        “I’ll take overhyped and stillborn for $1000 Alex.”

      • Arclight
      • 5 years ago

      The R9 290s were pretty good until nvidia launched their next generation cards. I can’t be the only one who remembers the R9 290s bringing Titan class performance for half the price.

        • jihadjoe
        • 5 years ago

        IMO the 290s were only good because Nvidia was gouging prices on big Kepler. 780Ti and 780 should have been at 580/570 prices if AMD was really competitive.

          • dragontamer5788
          • 5 years ago

          Cryptocoins ruined us all.

          • Arclight
          • 5 years ago

          I didn’t do a fact check but iirc correctly the GTX 780Ti was announced and released after the launch of the R9 290s, in other words it was nvidia reaction not initiative to bring something better. Reducing the 290s to simply redudant as nvidia already had better things is not genuine to how history unfolded, not to mention it was more expensive for the most part (discounting the price gouging caused by the miners).

        • sschaem
        • 5 years ago

        We still have a similar story. GTX 980 $540, 290x $370, yet the 370$ card beat the 540$ card in many games, specially very recent titles. (at res > 1080p)

          • Arclight
          • 5 years ago

          The problem we have now is that those nvidia cards are next gen and while they aren’t worth their current asking price (despite their performance the specs are mid end) they do have the advantage of being more energy efficient and better overclockers.

          But they are next gen, so the true answer given by AMD has yet to come, unfortunetely we all know it will be in 2015. In the mean time AMD might be losing money with current prices or face lower margins still. Given the mid range nature of the nvidia cards, they could be priced lower still putting even more pressure on AMD. They really missed a big oportunity by being late to the market once again, HBM is still a bet we don’t know if it’s worth it.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 5 years ago

    Dat golden parachute.

      • sschaem
      • 5 years ago

      I wonder if R. Read told anyone at AMD about what was going to happen …

      Because when you look at AMD insider trading… a few sold shares a month ago. A Lot.

      Those VPs sold at $4.2 , the stock is now $3.26,
      Coincidence that the stock dropped by 25% in the last month ?

      I wouldn’t be surprised if those few,BYRNE JOHN (SVP & COS), WOLIN HARRY A (SVP & Secretary), get investigated by the SEC.

      • NeelyCam
      • 5 years ago

      Some things never change.

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    Bad news: An abrupt change like this isn’t happening because Everything Is Awesome (TM).
    Good news: Lisa Su appears to at least have a technical background, which is more than I could say for Rory.

      • sschaem
      • 5 years ago

      He was out of his element, its crazy how AMD board keep putting the wrong people as CEO.
      But to give them credit, I can see AMD having him oversee the restructuring, but he should have been replaced soon after.
      L. Su seem more technical, but from what I can tell she is still not CEO material either.
      She is like a D. Meyer, probably decent to lead a division, but can be a disaster as CEO.
      She doesn’t seem like a business woman in any shape or form specially when the competition in the global economy is Intel, Qualcomm, nvidia, etc.. We are talking about first class caliber multi billion $ institutions she is trying to compete with.

      Once again, AMD success will fall on R&D, fighting against all odds. external and internal…

        • LoneWolf15
        • 5 years ago

        Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard didn’t seem like CEO material either –until they were.

        And they did a darned better job at it than anyone in the last decade has at HP.

          • sschaem
          • 5 years ago

          You must think a lot of D. Meyer and L. Su to put them in the same bag as Hewlett and Packard.

          Su and Meyer where promoted , but H&P where engineer / entrepreneurs.

          There is a big difference. Meyer had a narrow view of the computer industry having been focus all his life in the server market. Hence when he took over, he decimated all divisions to focus on the server market. A market that AMD is now 97% out of.
          Su seem like a ‘coordinator’ instead of a visionary… Since she came aboard AMD, she had lots a failure and not many success.

          The only remaining gold star at AMD is whats left of the ATI merger. But they have been subjugated, and most are now down the road at Apple, nvidia, intel…

          Anyways, from her track record, I dont see it. Su might be able to manage things, but I dont see her taking AMD to the next level. She will be another CEO that increase the debt to survive yet another year.

          • ronch
          • 5 years ago

          Company founders tend to steer their companies with passion because it’s their baby. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Soichiro Honda, Henry Ford, Jen Hsun Huang, and of course, Jerry Sanders. Succeeding CEOs are just hires from outside who are only out for a fat paycheck or looking for a new challenge, or internal hires who fail to finish Act 2. There are exceptions, of course. Intel, for one, is a very systematic company and has some of the best brains in the world, and they take CEO transitions very seriously. They don’t do it on a whim like AMD always does.

          Also, back in HP’s early days the computing industry is nothing like it is now. Competition is super fierce today and everyone’s looking for the Next Big Thing(tm), among many other factors that make succeeding in the market much harder than it was. If it weren’t for the fact that today’s players are big companies with tons of resources accumulated over the decades to weather out the competition and spend on product development, none would survive, and that’s why you see few new players. The few new players we see are boutique players catering to small niches the Big Boys are largely ignoring, until some Big Boy snaps them up.

      • NTMBK
      • 5 years ago

      Or he saw a better opportunity elsewhere. The new HP laptop company probably needs a CEO…

        • the
        • 5 years ago

        Except the CEO’s for both halves of HP have been announced already. (As have the President and board chairmen.) There isn’t a good spot in the HP hierarchy.

        This of course doesn’t preclude Rory form looking elsewhere.

          • NTMBK
          • 5 years ago

          Placeholders to see them through the transition. You don’t spin them out and then leave the old leadership in place. RR is staying with AMD until after Christmas, remember.

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