AMD's Read Steps Down as CEO, Su Takes Over

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2014-10-08 Print this article Print
AMD Lisa Su

AMD also was able to get back to profitability on the back of a semi-custom business that produced chips that are being used in the latest gaming consoles from Microsoft, PlayStation and Nintendo. That said, the company in the second quarter saw its revenues grow 24 percent over the same period in 2013, but had a net loss of $36 million.

"Rory has basically delivered on what he said he would deliver," Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64, told eWEEK. "He told us what he was going to do, and he did it."

Having Su take over as CEO makes sense, Brookwood said. She's respected throughout the industry, has the experience AMD needs and has done well at the company, first as senior vice president and general manager of AMD's Global Business Units and later as COO.

However, the timing of the announcement confused Brookwood, as it did several other analysts on the conference call. It comes a week before AMD announces third-quarter financial earnings.

"I'm very puzzled why they chose Oct. 8 to do this," he said. "We're hearing a lot of concern about the timing. Not the move, but the timing of the move. … The answers they gave were less than satisfying."

Read said during the call that it was a succession plan the company had put in place, and that once the decision was made, he had a "fiduciary duty" to announce it.

"The board and I felt this was the right time, this was the right place, and Lisa was the right leader," he said.

Su, 44, said she had some priorities she wanted to pursue as CEO, including continuing the technology roadmaps the company has set out. In response to a question, she said the company would continue its dual-architecture game plan of developing x86 and ARM-based processors. She also said she wants to "simplify the company" to make it easier for AMD employees to do their jobs. Su didn't elaborate.

In a video interview by AMD, Su said she was excited about AMD's future.

"There are so few companies out there that have what AMD has to offer," she said. "We're best as a company when we have that heritage of being a maverick and bucking the status quo, and this is our time to do that."


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