AMD finally appeared to be gaining traction
around the end of 2010; it is doing well with its graphics offerings, delivering its first "Fusion" CPU/GPUs,
and preparing for a spring launch of its latest high-power
CPU architecture Bulldozer. But a sluggish response with regards to the
mobile sector, including tablets cost
AMD CEO Dirk Meyer his job. Mr. Meyer was shown the door (made to
resign), replaced by current CFO Thomas Seifert as interim CEO.
Now two more top AMD executives have either quit
or been forced out.
The first is Robert Rivet [profile],
AMD's chief operating officer. He was AMD's chief financial officer from
2000 to 2008. In 2008 he switched from the CFO post to the COO post.
He was replaced as CFO by Mr. Seifert.
The second executive is Marty Seyer [profile],
senior vice president of corporate strategy. Mr. Seyer's efforts largely
focused on the server and IT sales angle, managing the microprocessor unit.
He joined the company in 2002.
AMD is claiming both executives left to pursue
"other opportunities". Writes [press
release] a company spokesperson, "Having made significant
contributions to the company over the years, Bob [Rivet] is leaving to pursue
new opportunities. He will remain through a brief interim period to help ensure
a seamless transition. Like Mr. Rivet, Mr. Seyer is also leaving AMD to pursue
new opportunities and will stay on for a brief period to ensure a seamless
In Mr. Seyer's case, more likely he, like Mr.
Meyer, was outed. Under Mr. Seyer's watch server sales slumped.
States Doug Freedman, an analyst with Gleacher & Co., comments to
the EE Times, "It's hard not to think that the heat in the
kitchen got to him."
With Mr. Rivet, the situation is less clear-cut.
He may have been bitter about being overlooked for the interim CEO
position. Or he may have been forced out. Or he may really have
left to pursue a more promising opportunity. No one seems quite sure in
One has to wonder, though, how much these
departures will hurt AMD's prospects in the electronics industry. Or
perhaps they will be just what the company needed -- jump starting right when
it has its biggest opportunity, with Intel struggling
with Sandy Bridge woes.