AMD replaces CEO with chip veteran Su, surprising analysts

Rory Read was doing well leading the struggling company, analysts say

Advanced Micro Devices CEO Lisa Su

Advanced Micro Devices CEO Lisa Su

Advanced Micro Devices has a new CEO, Lisa Su, who will now try to stabilize a company that's attempting to diversify into new markets outside PCs and servers.

Su will replace Rory Read, who has stepped down from the post. Su solidified her position as the second-in-command to Read when she was appointed chief operating officer in June.

AMD has struggled financially in recent years but has had some bright spots with its chips now going into the Xbox One and PlayStation gaming consoles. The company is trying to hold on to market share in its bread-and-butter PC market but has reshaped its server road map around ARM processors. AMD is also making custom chips for clients as it tries to reduce its reliance on the declining PC market.

Nobody was expecting the move so quickly, but Su's very qualified for the job, said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64.

"It's a good move, but I don't understand the timing," Brookwood said. Read could still have done a lot more for the company as CEO, he said.

Read has brought a level of stability to AMD since he was appointed CEO in 2011, with the company having a few quarters of profits under his reign. But AMD also has a history of unceremoniously changing CEOs. The company booted Dirk Meyer from the position in early 2011, and appointed outsider Read, a former Lenovo executive, later that year. This time, AMD found Read's successor within the company.

Su has a tremendous amount of technology depth and has spent her career in the semiconductor industry, Brookwood said.

"She understands the issues of semiconductor companies far better than Read," Brookwood said.

AMD is going through a multi-phase strategy to stabilize the company, get its product road maps in order and grow in new markets. Read introduced a culture of delivering products on time, and Su led the execution of timely development and delivery of chips. One success was delivering the complex chips for Xbox and PS4 on time.

Su was already associated with the growing parts of the company, such as semi-custom processors and embedded chips for the "Internet of things," said Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research.

"The task at hand is to keep that momentum going," McCarron said. He also said the appointment came a bit earlier than expected.

AMD faces challenges in high-margin server chips, where it has a small market share compared to Intel. AMD is bringing the emerging ARM architecture into its x86-dominated server chip portfolio. The first ARM servers with AMD's chips are due early next year.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuesprocessorspersonnelComponentsAdvanced Micro Devices

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?