AMD System Builders Question Meyer's Resignation As CEO

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AMD's Chief Executive Officer Dirk Meyer resigned unexpectedly from his position on Monday, leaving behind several unanswered questions regarding the circumstances of his departure.

Although AMD said Meyer resigned, the company's ensuing statements on the matter suggest that he may have been pushed out.

“The board feels we’ve got opportunities for significant growth and superior financial returns, and a change in leadership can accelerate the ability to accomplish those goals,” Drew Prairie, an AMD spokesman, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “We’re marching in the right direction, but the issue was just with the pace and finding ways to accelerate the pace.”

AMD's resellers in the channel asked whether a change in leadership will translate to AMD achieving its goal of gaining a larger share of the market.

"It is very hard to say from an outsiders view if this change will have any impact," said Larry Piland, president of Datel Systems, a San Diego, Calif.-based solution provider. "Is it a CEO issue that has kept AMD from realizing their full potential or is it a board issue that steers the company in a given direction?"

According to a report from Bloomberg on Tuesday, AMD is seeking a CEO who can challenge Intel in the traditional CPU market, while getting AMD processors inside mobile embedded devices. The report said AMD's board was frustrated during Meyer's tenure with the company's inability to gain market share in the tablet segment in particular.

Piland said that for AMD to increase its sales figures it may need to revise its strategy, rather than just its leadership.

"It is also possible that it is too late in the game for AMD to become the player in the CPU market that would expand their sales in great numbers," said Piland. "Their reliance on 3rd party companies to make mother boards and control boards (with some substandard results) has kept many people from standardizing on AMD chips whereas Intel had been making boards for years that the market trusts and can rely on."

Among the limitations of AMD's current strategy, Jon Bach, president of Puget Systems, a Kent, Wash.-based system builder said that the company hadn't taken advantage of the opportunities that the system builder channel offers.


Next: AMD's Attitude Towards The Channel

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