AMD CEO Left Over Mobile Strategy Disagreement

With smartphones becoming more and more powerful, the mobile market has become more important than ever for hardware companies. However, it seems disagreements in this area were a contributing factor for the departure of former AMD CEO Dirk Meyer. Reports suggest that the AMD board felt Dirk wasn’t doing enough in the mobile arena.

In a shock announcement earlier this week, AMD announced that CEO Dirk Meyer would be leaving the company. The move was said to be the result of a mutual agreement between Meyer and the AMD board, but later reports citing company sources say a large part of the reason for the now ex-CEO’s departture had to do with AMD's choice not to pursue making chips for the mobile market other than netbooks.

According to Reuters, sources withing AMD say Meyer’s leaving had a lot to do with the board’s discontent with how he handled the mobile market. Apparently Meyer’s late-2010 decision to hold off on microprocessor developments for just a little longer didn’t earn him any fans. Reuters also cites Wedbush analyst Patrick Wang who says board members felt Dirk was leading them down the wrong path.

"Strategically they (the board) didn't feel like Dirk was taking them down the road they wanted to be on. They wanted to be on the Yellow Brick Road toward tablets and smartphones," said Wang.

On Tuesday the AMD Board of Directors appointed Senior Vice President and CFO Thomas Seifert, 47, as interim CEO following Meyer’s resignation. Seifert will maintain his current responsibilities as CFO and has asked not to be considered for the permanent CEO position.

Bruce Claflin, Chairman of AMD’s Board of Directors, has been named Executive Chairman of the Board as he assumes additional oversight responsibilities during the transition period. Claflin this week commended Dirk’s performance during his time as CEO, but said a change in leadership was needed.

"Dirk became CEO during difficult times. He successfully stabilized AMD while simultaneously concluding strategic initiatives including the launch of GLOBALFOUNDRIES, the successful settlement of our litigation with Intel and delivering Fusion APUs to the market," he said.

"However, the Board believes we have the opportunity to create increased shareholder value over time. This will require the company to have significant growth, establish market leadership and generate superior financial returns. We believe a change in leadership at this time will accelerate the company’s ability to accomplish these objectives."

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  • LePhuronn
    So the board and investors are greedy morons then?

    With the smartphone market dominated by stunning processors like the Snapdragon, AMD would have to spend a LOT of money to make sure they developed something infinitely better and cheaper very quickly in order for manufacturers to snap it up and it be profitable, otherwise they'd just take as bad a spanking as Intel have been doing to them in the desktop sector.

    Yet when their new Fusion APU stuff looks promising and snap up a lot of the netbook and tablet market share, that's somehow "leading AMD down the wrong path"?

    Step 1: Want mobile chip
    Step 2: ...
    Step 3: Profit!

    Doesn't work that way, AMD board and you know it.

    Sounds like Meyer is better off out of there - go find another struggling company to stabilise and make profitable (like mine?).