AMD Loses 3 Execs, Including Head of PC Chips

 
 
By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2015-01-12 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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AMD, the world's No. 2 chip maker behind Intel, says its chief marketing and chief strategy officers also are leaving in the latest shakeup.

Executive shifts are continuing at Advanced Micro Devices, with three executives—including John Byrne, who was in charge of the company's compute and graphics unit—leaving the company.

AMD, the world's second-largest PC chip maker after Intel, announced the changes Jan. 12. Byrne, who had been senior vice president and general manager of the company's Computing and Graphics Business Group since June 2014, will stay with AMD until March 31 to help with the transition. The company said he is leaving to "pursue other opportunities."

AMD President and CEO Lisa Su will assume Byrne's duties until a replacement is found.

Also leaving the company are Chief Marketing Officer Colette LaForce and Raj Naik, chief strategy officer. Both had been with AMD since 2012.

The executive changes are the latest at the company over the past year. Last June, AMD restructured its business units and shuffled some officials, including Su—a former Freescale and IBM official who joined AMD in 2012 and had been in charge of the company's Global Business Units. Su became chief operating officer, giving her greater authority over the company's directions. It was during the same restructuring that Byrne—an eight-year veteran of AMD who had been chief sales officer—was promoted to his position overseeing the compute and graphic business.

Four months later, in a move that surprised many in the industry, Rory Read, who had been CEO since 2011, stepped down, and Su was named as his successor. Days later, AMD announced it was cutting its workforce by 7 percent, or about 700 jobs.

The job cuts came as AMD reported disappointing third-quarter financial numbers, with revenues falling 2 percent over the same period in 2013 and third-quarter income of $17 million, significantly less than the $43 million for the corresponding period a year before.

Under Read, AMD expanded into growth areas such as dense servers, ultra-portable clients and the embedded space. It also moved into semi-custom chips, which led to the company getting its silicon into the latest gaming consoles from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo and helped briefly return AMD to profitability.

During the third quarter, the company's Enterprise, Embedded and Semi-Custom Group—which also includes server chips—saw revenues grow 21 percent year over year. Meanwhile, revenues for the Computing and Graphics unit—which comprises desktop and notebook processors, discrete GPUs and professional graphics and which Byrne oversaw—fell 16 percent over the third quarter of 2013. The decline was fueled by weak notebook processor and chipset sales.

Along with the departures of Byrne, AMD also said the board of directors had given retention awards to Chief Technology Officer Mark Papermaster and Chief Financial Officer Devinder Kumar.

AMD is scheduled to announce fourth-quarter earnings Jan. 20.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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