AMD Board Replaces CEO Meyer, Appoints Seifert Interim CEO

Company believes leadership change will accelerate growth, shareholder profitability and increase market share. Search underway for permanent successor.

January 17, 2011

D.H. Kass

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Advanced Micro Devices Inc. said last week that Dirk Meyer, its president and chief executive, had resigned at the behest of the company’s board of directors, succeeded by Thomas Seifert, the vendor’s current senior vice president and chief financial officer, who was appointed interim chief executive.

The vendor revealed the top executive change, which appeared to surprise industry observers, at the same time as it said it will record $1.65 billion in fourth quarter 2010 revenue, amounting to a 2 percent sequential increase over last quarter, and reaffirmed to financial analysts its guidance for 2011. AMD is slated to announce final results for the fourth quarter after the market closes on January 20, 2011.

Officials said that a search for Meyer’s successor will begin immediately. Seifert will retain his CFO position and is not in the running as Meyer’s permanent replacement, AMD said.

Bruce Claflin, AMD chairman, praised Meyer, who, in November, 2009, secured a $1.25 billion settlement from Intel Corp. to close one of the industry’s most acrimonious disputes, for presiding over bringing the company’s Fusion processors to market, extending its manufacturing facilities and concluding the Intel litigation, but stopped short of providing more details about his seemingly abrupt departure.

"Dirk became CEO during difficult times,” Claflin said. “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, Claflin suggested that AMD’s board believed Meyer was not up to fulfilling key company initiatives, including growing the company further, grabbing market share and improving financial returns.

“We believe a change in leadership at this time will accelerate the company's ability to accomplish these objectives," he said.

Claflin said that Seifert, who commands some 20 years of management, operations and financial experience, is well-suited to guide AMD in the interim period before the company names a new chief executive.

"During his tenure at AMD, Thomas helped strengthen the company's balance sheet while demonstrating strong leadership and winning the respect of his peers,” Claflin said. “His operations and finance experience make him an excellent choice to guide the company as interim CEO."

Seifert said that despite the executive change, AMD’s plans remain stable.

"AMD enters 2011 with considerable product and financial momentum,” he said. “Our roadmap for the year, including our 'Llano' APU and 32nm 'Bulldozer' based processors remain on track," he said. "I believe we have significant opportunities to cement our leadership positions in several key market segments based on the strength of our upcoming products."

TAGS: Intel,AMD,Fusion,Meyer,Seifert

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