Did he jump or was he pushed? Lisa Su replaces Rory Read as AMD CEO – effective immediately
The tenure of AMD CEO Rory Read is over as the board of directors at the chipmaker appointed Dr. Lisa Su as president and chief executive officer and member of the board of directors, “effective immediately.”
The change seems to have caught many by surprise, which has naturally prompted question marks over whether Read jumped voluntarily or was pushed out. It is worth remembering that AMD has previous form here, as Read’s predecessor (Dirk Meyer) was forced to resign in early 2011.
On the surface however it seems that the transition has been planned for some time. AMD insisted that the move was part of an orderly succession plan that Read and the company’s board had developed together.
Read 52, will remain on at AMD as a consultant, but only until the end of the year.
“Leadership succession planning has been a joint effort between Rory and the board and we felt that Lisa’s expertise and proven leadership in the global semiconductor industry make this an ideal time for her to lead the company,” said Bruce Claflin, chairman of AMD’s board of directors. “I would also like to thank Rory for his many accomplishments and contributions positioning AMD for long-term success by helping to create a strong foundation and clear path to re-establish the company’s growth and profitability.”
“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to lead such a talented team and proud of what we have accomplished during such an important chapter in the company’s history,” said Read. “Together, we have established the right strategy to enable AMD to continue to grow and transform. I am confident that Lisa is the right leader to drive AMD forward.”
“I am deeply honoured to have this opportunity to lead AMD during this important time of transformation,” said Dr Su. “I look forward to expanding on the strong foundation we have built under Rory’s leadership as we develop industry-leading technologies and products for a diverse set of markets to drive sustainable and profitable growth.”
Read has been credited with stablising AMD, despite the dire state of the entire PC industry during most of his tenure. He was also credited for steering the company through a dark period when it was examining its strategic options.
Read joined AMD back in August 2011 and he inherited a company that was still seeking a way forward, after it had gained a $1.25 billion (£772 million) legal settlement from bitter rival Intel in late 2009.
Read also came into the company eight months after the previous CEO, Dirk Meyer has been forced to resign by AMD’s board of directors.
Read is an industry veteran, having previously served as president and COO of PC maker Lenovo, and prior to that spending 23 years with IBM. He began the organisational transformation of Intel’s main rival, thanks in part to the decision in 2013 to create a semi-custom business, which has done a lot to improve the finances at the company.
In 2013, both Microsoft and Sony announced they would use AMD’s systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) in their next-generation gaming consoles, and the console market and the graphics side has now become an important part of AMD’s revenue stream.
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