AMD Appoints Former McKinsey Partner, Intel Engineer As Chief Strategy Officer

AMD announced Monday that it has tapped former Intel engineer and McKinsey partner Rajan Naik, as its new senior vice president and chief strategy office. Naik will report directly to AMD CEO Rory Read and will be responsible for the company’s short- and long-term strategy development, including researching market opportunities, strategic partnerships, and investments strategies, the company said.

Before joining AMD, Naik spent 11 years at McKinsey and Company, where he provided consulting services to the company’s technology and telecom clients. Prior to McKinsey, Naik had a two-year run as a senior engineer at Intel, and early in his career worked on the technical staff at AT&T spin-off Lucent Technologies.

"Rajan Naik possesses a strong track record of execution in strategic planning, product and market strategy, and operational performance," Read said in a statement. "He will help ensure strategic and operational alignment across our business to take advantage of growth opportunities in lower power, emerging markets and cloud computing."

Though bringing with him years of strategic experience, Naik is joining AMD after a particularly bumpy year. In November, the chip maker announced it would be laying off approximately 10 percent of its workforce – or 1,400 employees globally – as part of a restructuring plan to cut costs and “pursue a balanced set of strategic activities.” In total, AMD’s internal restructure is set to yield a savings of approximately $118 million this year, the company said.

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Once the news of the layoffs hit Wall Street, however, AMD shares fell by more than a third over the remainder of the year.

The chip maker also faced internal struggles last year with its foundry business, GlobalFoundries. During its third-quarter 2011 earnings call, AMD attributed its sluggish go-to-market rates to "significant" manufacturing set-backs seen with its 32-nm and 45-nm technologies at GlobalFoundries.

What’s more, reports surfaced in November suggesting AMD may scrap production of its 28-nm APUs at GlobalFoundries and continue production instead at Taiwanese foundry, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturer (TSMC). Despite speculation, AMD told CRN it would remain "committed" to its partnership with GlobalFoundries.

The addition of Naik is one in a series of recent corporate shake-ups at AMD. In October, the chipmaker appointed former vice president of Silicon Engineering at Cisco Mark Papermaster to be senior vice president and chief technology officer. In December, former senior vice president at Freescale Semiconductor Dr. Lisa Su was appointed senior vice president and general manager, global business units.