Dell Hires Ex-AMD CEO, Former Cisco Exec for Enterprise Business

Rory Read takes over as president and COO of commercial sales, while Paul Perez will oversee Dell's data center technologies.

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Rory Read, who spent more than three years as president and CEO of chip maker AMD after holding executive positions with Lenovo and IBM, will be Dell's president and COO of worldwide commercial sales. Read will oversee the tech vendor's global go-to-market efforts as well as channel sales planning and enablement.

Dell also named Paul Perez CTO of its Enterprise Solutions Group. Perez, formerly a vice president in Cisco’s Computing System Product Group, will be responsible for the architecture, design and expansion of Dell's data center technologies.

Dell announced the appointments March 23.

CEO Michael Dell said that Read and Perez "add enterprise IT expertise and depth to Dell's leadership team and will help accelerate Dell's place as an enterprise powerhouse and trusted advisor to businesses globally. I look forward to their contributions—from the design of our solutions to how we deliver and support them with our customers."

Read arrived at AMD in 2011 after serving as president and COO at Lenovo. His appointment came at a time when the company was struggling in the x86 chip space against larger rival Intel. During his tenure, Read oversaw a restructuring of the company that included expanding into new growth areas and cutting the workforce. He oversaw AMD's acquisition of SeaMicro in 2012 and the chip maker's portfolio expansion in to server chips based on the ARM architecture, giving AMD two server platforms.

Read pushed the company to expand into growth areas, which included embedded systems, dense servers, ultra-low power device and semi-custom chips, the last of which lead to the company's technology ending up in the latest gaming consoles from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. Powering the latest Xbox, PlayStation and Wii consoles drove AMD to profitability in a few quarters, though the company has struggled in other areas.

In a surprise move, Read stepped down as AMD president and CEO in October 2014, handing over the reins at AMD to Lisa Su, who had been AMD's COO and Read's top executive.

At Cisco, Perez worked with the Unified Computing System (UCS), a converged infrastructure solution that includes Cisco server and networking products, storage from EMC and virtualization from VMware.

It was introduced by Cisco in 2009 and has since propelled the tech vendor onto the list of the world's top five largest server vendors. In the most recent financial quarter, the UCS business hit a $3 billion run rate and more than 41,000 customers, CEO John Chambers said in February.

During his career at Cisco, Perez also served as CTO for its Data Center Business Group, overseeing strategy in converged infrastructure, virtualization and private cloud automation. Prior to joining Cisco, Perez was chief technologist at Hewlett-Packard for the company's ProLiant and BladeSystem offerings.

Both Read—who will join Dell April 6—and Perez, who started this week, will report to Marius Haas, chief commercial officer and president of Dell's Enterprise Solutions Group.