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Henri Richard is really leaving, with an official press release and everything

AMD today officially announced the resignation of Henri Richard, chief sales and marketing officer.  Word of Richard’s resignation circulated yesterday when AMD CEO Hector Ruiz sent out an internal memo to AMD employees announcing the resignation.

“After 20 years in the PC industry – and five of the most professionally rewarding years here at AMD – I have decided to make a move to a different business segment,” Richard said. “I am leaving AMD at a time when the company is in position to break the monopoly that plagues this industry. I am immensely proud of my contribution to AMD, and in particular, of the strong team I leave behind.”

Richard is leaving AMD in September 2007, as previously reported. He is leaving AMD on good terms. AMD has not announced a successor yet, thus the global sales and marketing teams will have to report to Ruiz until a replacement is appointed.

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By JasonMick on 8/23/2007 12:21:06 PM , Rating: 2
AMD really looks to be on the way out, while Intel is dominating.

Perhaps they will pull together a substantial release with Barcelona, but things aren't looking good as they are either playing their cards way too close to their hand or else are struggling to realize what is now vaporware.

Now, for the AMD faithful, I am not bashing AMD. I think this is an extremely BAD thing for the PC market.

Imagine a world where Intel was the sole desktop PC CPU manufacturer. I really like Intel's current dual core/quad core offerings, but this is a very scary proposition.

Monopoly is only fun when its a childrens game...lets hope AMD pulls their act together, or some other chipmaker (however unlikely this is) enters the fray.

RE: Scary...
By Screwballl on 8/23/2007 12:40:34 PM , Rating: 2
AMD has been far from "on the way out".. they may have slipped since C2D has caught on but they are nowhere close to "on the way out". This is all a matter of timing.. the acquisition of ATi, the kick in the pants that came from the Conroes and the other current small issues has dropped their market share. As soon as the next gen stuff is available, I believe we will see another "Athlon64" that catches on slowly but eventually takes a large chunk from nVidia and Intel.
I love my Athlon64 and I love my Conroe systems, I am nowhere near a fanboy of any type... just call it as I see it.

RE: Scary...
By Master Kenobi on 8/23/2007 12:42:49 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing in the Barcelona/Phenom architecture would indicate it will dominate Intel the way the A64 dominated the P4.

RE: Scary...
By Vanilla Thunder on 8/23/2007 1:03:07 PM , Rating: 4
And nothing can prove that it won't be comparable until the products are benchmarked. If AMD can show comparable performace to the C2D, then I think they can stay in the game for the next few years and hope that the Fusion platform can deliver all they've promised. Only time will tell.


RE: Scary...
By cgrecu77 on 8/23/2007 1:12:33 PM , Rating: 2
it doesn't have to dominate like that, right now AMD has established itself as a player, even a small advantage would be enough to outsell Intel. Also, Intel will have to play fair with all the attention on their anti-competitive practices.

RE: Scary...
By TomZ on 8/23/2007 12:43:02 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, you are a fanboy - AMD has executed poorly for the past two years. What have they done right ? Just name one thing!

RE: Scary...
By omnicronx on 8/23/2007 12:57:42 PM , Rating: 2
They acquired ATI?
For those who expected AMD+ATI merger to be a powerhouse right off the get go, thats just not how business works ;). I think AMD sacrificed themselves this time around to position themselves for years to come. I am not saying the have not made mistakes, but they are far from defeated, Intel just put the afterburners on, and a smaller company with way less resources and customer loyalty is trying to keep up =(.

If intel doesn't wipe the floor with AMD with their 65nm and then 45nm processors they could be in trouble. AMD didn't invest in cmos soi technology for nothing ;) Just wait until 32nm.

On the other hand if AMD doesn't watch it, they could end up being aquired by another bigger chip maker (IBM maybe???)

RE: Scary...
By TomZ on 8/23/2007 1:19:21 PM , Rating: 5
ATI: They overpaid for an underperforming company, and they took the focus off their main business of CPUs at a critical time, during a major assault by Intel.

Better strategy: Wait a couple of years to make sure they survive to the next round. ATI wasn't going anywhere, and they probably could have picked it up cheaper later.

In addition, why did they need to own ATI to do things like Fusion? Why couldn't they have instead partnered with ATI?

Sorry, I don't see the wisdom of that acquisition, at that price, at that point in time.

And BTW, I don't see why IBM would acquire AMD. If they wanted to be in the X86 business, they would have been there through all these years. An acquisition now would make no sense.

RE: Scary...
By Vanilla Thunder on 8/23/2007 2:51:12 PM , Rating: 2
In addition, why did they need to own ATI to do things like Fusion? Why couldn't they have instead partnered with ATI?

I would say that having total "in-house" control of R&D would make a huge difference. Also, ATI was pretty bad about releasing products on schedule, which AMD has much more control over now. I personally think this move will prove to be beneficial to AMD in the long run, IF their roadmaps manifest into reality. Espescially with Intel having plans to get involved in the GPU arena. If AMD can do away with the need for a discrete graphics card, they've already trumped Intel's efforts.


RE: Scary...
By phaxmohdem on 8/23/2007 4:47:48 PM , Rating: 1
Unless we're all wandering around star ship corridors tapping on little pads that are linked to the ships central processor... I don't think the need for discrete graphics will go away.

RE: Scary...
By Vanilla Thunder on 8/23/2007 5:29:22 PM , Rating: 1
That makes no sense whatsoever. What does that have to do with graphics cards? Also, if you were walking around starship corridors, there's a strong chance whatever device you're using will be using Fusion like technology, not a 8800GTX.


RE: Scary...
By retrospooty on 8/23/2007 6:23:04 PM , Rating: 2
" and they (AMD) took the focus off their main business of CPUs at a critical time"

Its not exactly the like the engineering crew that was working on the Athlon/Opteron lineup took a 6 month "welcome ATI to the company" break (or even a week for that matter) CPU and GPU are totally separate divisions even if the company had merged 10 years ago. The problems existed, and delays would have happened with or without the ATI purchase.

RE: Scary...
By TomZ on 8/23/2007 6:31:42 PM , Rating: 3
Of course, but wouldn't you agree that AMD could have hired a lot more more engineers, made more capital purchases, etc. with the resources for the CPU develoment that they instead invested in the ATI purchase?

Also, what about the focus of upper management? Don't you think there was a large period of time they were entirely focused on the acquisition (before, during, and after), and don't you think they spent less attention managing their CPU development as a result?

RE: Scary...
By retrospooty on 8/23/2007 9:35:11 PM , Rating: 3
Its posssible, sure. But I really remember AMD as not executing well over the past 5 years, even the A64, and X2 were way later then originally planned. At the time Intel was executing even worse, so AMD didn't look so bad. I think the only major change here is that Intel is firing on all pistons these days.

RE: Scary...
By Master Kenobi on 8/23/2007 2:33:54 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry omni, I would have to argue that Intel is ahead of AMD in the 32nm process arena. I've heard of cutting edge intel work on the 32nm process node for years. There is also the small fact that Intel will deliver 32nm a full year ahead of AMD. Remember, Intel will be pushing for 32nm about half way through 2009.

RE: Scary...
By eyebeeemmpawn on 8/23/2007 1:29:34 PM , Rating: 1
IMHO, buying ATI is something they did right. I know, I'm crazy right? Maybe it isn't clear to those who track a company's success by their current stock price. Chips aren't designed and brought to acceptable yield on quarterly basis; it will take years to see the advantages that AMD hopes to gain from the ATI purchase. (omnicronx, I see you've already taken the words out of my mouth :) )

As an EE Design engineer, (not affiliated with Intel, AMD or IBM any longer) I see the acquisition as the next logical step in shrinking the PC platform. This is a bold move in a day and age where companies are rolling heads to keep investors happy in the short term. Their shortsightedness is only crippling their chances at future successes.

BTW, TomZ, your post makes you seem incredibly hypocritical.

RE: Scary...
By TomZ on 8/23/2007 2:11:15 PM , Rating: 2
I'm being critical, not hypocritical. I didn't indicate any preference for Intel in my commetns, did I?

My views are like a lot of others who post here - I want to see both companies being successful. If one is doing a good job, we say "good job," and if one is doing a bad job, we say "bad job."

RE: Scary...
By eyebeeemmpawn on 8/23/2007 4:31:07 PM , Rating: 2
(rolls eyes)...whatever you say. Screwball didn't indicate a preference for either company in his post, yet he/she earned a "fanboy" from you...I guess we're both guilty :)

I too would like to see Intel and AMD competing head-to-head in the future. We'd all be better off, thanks for stating the obvious.

I named one thing I think they did right, and your lack of an argument to the contrary in your response indicates to me that you may agree with me.

Wait longer? Partnership? Your suggestions of a "better strategy" for AMD show clearly that you are missing the whole point of the acquisition.

I think (my opinion, no personal attack) you're shortsighted to jump on the bandwagon with the Corporate Baseball Card annalists and say "bad job" when the fruits of the purchase have yet to be seen. You've got to spend money to make money. AMD saw an opportunity and they put a whole lot of money where their mouth is. Hopefully, for our sake, it works out.

RE: Scary...
By TomZ on 8/23/2007 4:57:43 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, my post was a slight overreaction, but I was reacting to his/her baseless statement that AMD will take a bunch of marketshare away from Intel and nVIDIA, even though there is absolutely no indication this could possibly happen, based on what we understand of current and future product plans. He/she then defened that view, claiming a complete lack of bias, which is what I was calling out.

My whole point with the AMD/ATI thing is that ATI is an investment that AMD could not afford, not in terms of time, money, or focus. I totally agree with you that it might have benefits in a 5-10 year timeframe, and I understand the need for AMD to think in those timelines, but I feel like they put way too much at risk with that deal.

They did that acquisition at the same time they woke the sleeping giant, who rose from its nap and declared "open season" on AMD. In those conditions, they should have focused 150% on their core offerings, especially since they knew they were already disadvantaged in terms of capital, manufacturing, brand, etc. The result of not focusing where they should have is that they quickly lost their hard-won market share gains, with seemingly no end to the pummeling in sight. That is not a good situation at all for AMD!

In my opinion, this strategic mistake is bad enough that AMD shareholders should demand the resignations of all of the top management.

I guess time will tell.

RE: Scary...
By SmokeRngs on 8/24/2007 6:03:30 PM , Rating: 2
My whole point with the AMD/ATI thing is that ATI is an investment that AMD could not afford, not in terms of time, money, or focus. I totally agree with you that it might have benefits in a 5-10 year timeframe, and I understand the need for AMD to think in those timelines, but I feel like they put way too much at risk with that deal.

This is where I think you make your mistake. It's the smaller, more nimble companies/businesses/individuals who can make the biggest changes and become successful beyond anyone's beliefs. The reason is that the little guy usually has less to lose and is more willing to take big risks which can pay off handsomely in an attempt to surpass the larger more cautious competition.

The purchase of ATI was a large risk but with the advantages of a top down in-house platform which Intel has been successful with for years. It's one of the biggest reasons businesses have continued to purchase Intel year after year. Intel has a complete system which they have shown is stable and reliable. AMD now has the exact same thing. This is a short term advantage of the purchase since a total AMD platform isn't that difficult to spit out.

The long term risk part of the purchase is Fusion and related technologies. AMD is basically pushing hard for a different type of mainstream computing. Well, at least a different way to go about it with possible performance increases with reduced costs. There was no way for AMD to do this on their own. They don't have the graphical experience to design anything like this on their own. A partnership with ATI would have been practically worthless. This is technology they plan to build on for years. There is no telling the partnership would last long enough and without problems. Then there are licensing fees which would more than likely have to be paid to ATI. In the long run, it's cheaper and safer to buy ATI than a partnership with ATI.

As for the timing, that can be explained. AMD had roadmaps and plans which needed to be carried out. Waiting another year or three to start the implementation of the plans and roadmaps could easily have been disaster in the long run. Waiting that long would have just given Intel a huge headstart which AMD might not have recovered from.

AMD took the initiative to make a purchase which would push future platforms and technologies for possibly years or decades into the future. Has it been a risk? Of course. Is it a smart move in comparison to sitting around hoping Intel doesn't beat AMD's brains in now and into the future with technologies AMD is now creating? Again, another yes.

There is always risk in business. Some risks are bigger than others. However, the larger the risk, the more likely the payoffs will be larger. AMD is looking for a way to give Intel a knockdown blow rather than sit on it's laurels and play the game by rules Intel sets up. You don't win by defense only and AMD knows this.

RE: Scary...
By dudde on 8/23/2007 4:08:32 PM , Rating: 2
I beg to differ... as you said "it takes years to see the advantages that AMD hopes to gain from the ATI purchase." AMD should better focusing on the short and medium term goal... I believe they should have invested in their production and manufacturing facilities... this way they can cater for the market demand.. this would have also given them a shorter ROI... or even a profit... who knows... 2 or 3yrs from the time they bought ATI.. they would have raked in more profit to even buy Nvidia..

RE: Scary...
By bhieb on 8/23/2007 12:44:47 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know tha this is the sign of the end. In fact it could be a great thing. Let's face it this guy is in charge of sale/marketing which has always been a weakness for AMD. Let's face it had he done his job when AMD was on top, they would be in a much better position today. They had the best chip by far, and instead of seeing ad's for AMD I was watching the "blue men" every 3rd commercial. They failed to strike when they had the chance, and IMHO it is this guys fault.

RE: Scary...
By DallasTexas on 8/23/2007 2:06:23 PM , Rating: 2
AMD is not going away. You can get some sleep now.

What you do when you're down, is lower the price and go after the bottom feeders as they have for 25 years. The big PC OEM's will gladly buy cheap CPU's to service that market. In addition, they will throw AMD a bone or two to keep them afloat until they get back on their feet - which they will.

In the mean time, buy the best (Intel) and let the free market reign. If AMD goes belly up, someone better will come along. It's the way it's suppose to work. The "ooh, please support the loser to balance the competition" is both silly and losing strategy.

When you bought yourself that GI JOE doll last Christmas, did you care that it was made in China by a 6 year old instead of that poor GI JOE craftsman in Iowa? No you didn't.

RE: Scary...
By majorpain on 8/23/2007 5:12:02 PM , Rating: 2
Really dont know whats the problem with being slower... Look at Celeron or Pentium D... damn thing was the worst crap around and it was sold like water... Besides, slow cpus will always have market within the 3th world countries. Im the production manager at a small OEM computer integrator in Brazil, and the fastest cpu we sell here its a E6600 and X2 5000+. 90% of the machines we produce are with Sempron, D.C. E2140/60 and Pentium D 925. The % here is 75% AMD CPUs and 25% for Intels; and most of Intel buyers, are companys that just dont trust AMD CPUs because they dont have good information about it. Some people just dont care if C2D is faster than A64 for a bit more of $$, they just dont have the $$$ for it...

What you say?
By bighairycamel on 8/23/2007 12:07:30 PM , Rating: 2
“I am leaving AMD at a time when the company is in position to break the monopoly that plagues this industry."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didnt AMD LOSE market share the past few quarters?

RE: What you say?
By fake01 on 8/23/2007 12:19:18 PM , Rating: 2
I am leaving AMD at a time when the company is in position to break the monopoly that plagues this industry.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didnt AMD LOSE market share the past few quarters?

It says that its "in position to break the monopoly" not "we've been in position to break the monopoly for the last few quarters". I'm guessing that it means that he thinks Barcelona will be a great success that will bring the company a lot of money, which I really hopes is true. I don't like the idea of thinking of going over to Intel when I've spent so much money building an AMD system (I built this system about a month before a knew anything about C2D btw)

RE: What you say?
By Master Kenobi on 8/23/2007 12:41:37 PM , Rating: 5
Contrary to his statement, AMD is in no position to "break the monopoly". The best they can do in the next 2-3 years is hold on and stay in the game.

RE: What you say?
By TomZ on 8/23/2007 12:33:12 PM , Rating: 2
I think Richard meant breaking the monopoly through the anti-trust lawsuits, since clearly AMD has a better strategy there then in traditional sales and marketing. :o)

RE: What you say?
By rcc on 8/23/2007 5:06:20 PM , Rating: 2
This comment is for his resume.

If AMD fumbles again, he can say "we were in great position to break Intel's monopoly when I left. "They" dropped the ball without me".

And if everything works out well, he can claim credit. Because clearly he had everything set up so well when he left that even a monkey could make it succeed.

RE: What you say?
By Treckin on 8/23/2007 6:03:26 PM , Rating: 2
This is not what I believe at all, but just for opposition, what if he had left a memo saying:
"Well folks, I'm of this sinking fucking boat, and you better jump ship as well. The Hindenburg is going down, and I'm running like mad. OH YEAH, SELL SELL SELL!"
That wouldn't exactly work now would it? This memo was likely drafted by one of his secretaries, for bureaucratic purposes...
The real events surrounding his resignation will likely remain the secretes of dusty board meeting minute sheets for decades to come...

RE: What you say?
By TomZ on 8/23/2007 6:12:13 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, and I would add that people rarely leave such a job when they are perceived to be highly successful.

By crystal clear on 8/24/2007 10:39:27 AM , Rating: 3
Mr. Richard departs AMD of his own accord and on completely amicable terms.

The above from the AMD press release inspires some very interesting analysis-

Mr. Richard departs AMD of his own accord then what triggered off this decision to leave so fast,in such a big hurry without a replacement appointed/announced.

On completely amicable terms -the very fact they mention this means "serious difference exist between him & the CEO on the upcoming launches of CPUs"-to such an extent that he simply gives up & says "I had enough of this-TIME TO GO"

Anyway the wrong people are leaving AMD-these are the guys supposed to stay on.

IF the first to go should be Hector Ruiz-its high time the investors/shareholders takeup this issue & pack him off.

AMD spokesman Eric Deritis said- Richard's sales and marketing group is strong enough to stand on its own until the right person is found, Deritis said. "There's no feeling that we have to do this as soon as possible to fill a gap."

This sentence below-

"There's no feeling that we have to do this as soon as possible to fill a gap."

This clearly implies that the position is being left vacant intentionally to enable the next/NEW C.E.O to come in the near future appoint a person of his choice.

The winds of change are blowing in fast-heads will roll.

RE: He probably said-"I had enough of this-TIME TO GO"
By TomZ on 8/24/2007 11:31:10 PM , Rating: 2
I couldn't agree more - Ruiz should pack his bags, and the board should appoint a CEO who knows how to run a business. His name should be "Hector Ruin" instead of Ruiz since all he is doing is ruining AMD.

By crystal clear on 8/25/2007 4:15:54 AM , Rating: 2
Ruiz, in a visit with Mercury News reporters and editors, said he is confident the new products will help AMD regain lost ground. And he claimed the technical glitches that held up Barcelona are behind the company. Barcelona will be competitive with whatever Intel throws at it, he said.

Here are excerpts from the conversation:

By TomZ on 8/25/2007 11:43:42 AM , Rating: 2
That sounds like good news - I hope he's right!

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