AMD Shuffles Executive Suite

Randy Allen is promoted to oversee all of the company's commercial and consumer chip development.

In its ongoing effort to return to financial stability, Advanced Micro Devices announced May 12 that it is reorganizing its executive leadership to streamline its business operations.

AMD announced that Randy Allen, who oversaw the chip maker's workstation and server division, is now the senior vice president in charge of the Computing Solutions Group, with responsibility for the company's portfolio of consumer and commercial x86 microprocessors.

With Allen's promotion, AMD also announced that Mario Rivas, who had been leading the Computing Solutions Group, and Michael Cadieux, a senior vice president and chief talent officer, were leaving the company to "pursue new opportunities."

In addition, AMD formed a new division-called Central Engineering-that will oversee the development of the company's chip technology and plan the company's technological road map. Both Allen and the leadership of Central Engineering will report to President and Chief Operating Officer Dirk Meyer.

"We are accelerating AMD's transformation, reshaping the organization and bolstering our management team to lead in our x86 microprocessor and graphics businesses," Meyer said in a prepared statement.

The shuffling of executives comes as AMD looks to regain its footing in the x86 chip market after six straight financial losses and a badly botched rollout of its quad-core Opteron processor known as "Barcelona," which suffered from a design flaw within the silicon that has since been fixed. Several tops OEMs, such as Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Sun Microsystems, are now offering the chip within their server portfolios.

In the meantime, Intel has surged ahead with new technologies, such as its Atom processor for low-cost notebooks and mobile Internet devices and its upcoming Nehalem microarchitecture, which will make the company even more competitive in the high-end server space thanks to advancements such as its own integrated memory controller.

The departure of Rivas and Cadieux are not the only changes to the executive suite. In April, Chief Technology Officer Phil Hester left the company. Instead of replacing him, the company will have CTOs within each of its five core divisions.

In a meeting with stock holders earlier this month, CEO Hector Ruiz reaffirmed his desire to bring the company back to financial stability by the end of the year. This could include spinning off part of the company, such as the consumer electronics division. The company is also planning to eliminate some 1,600 jobs.

However, Ruiz did not offer much in the way of specifics at the meeting. Several analysts and industry watchers have called for more details about the company's "asset smart" plan and what that could mean for AMD's manufacturing abilities.

In the last week, the company detailed an aggressive road map that calls for a switch to 45-nanometer manufacturing by the end of 2008, which should help the company save money while offering some technological advantages. In addition, AMD is moving ahead with plans for six- and 12-core processors within the next two years.