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AMD’s Executive Vice President, Henri Richard  (Source: Rahul Sood, DailyTech)
A corporate memo from AMD's CEO claims the company's executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer leaves September 8

AMD’s Henri Richard plans to step down from his position as executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer, according to an executive memo forwarded to DailyTech and confirmed by CNET. Richard’s resignation takes effect on September 8.

Richard’s resignation follows last month’s resignation of AMD’s Executive Vice President, Dave Orton. Orton was the former president and chief executive officer of ATI before the merger.

AMD has had a rough year in the CPU and graphics department. Despite a “successful integration” of the two companies, according to Orton, the company faced dramatic delays with its CPUs, chipsets and GPUs.

In its battle with Intel, the company touted the superior native quad-core Barcelona design, but has not launched a single quad-core processor. The company also faced delays with its AMD 690G chipset, which finally launched in February, despite expectations of a 2006 launch. AMD’s HD 2000 series also faced major launch delays, allowing NVIDIA to have a five-month head start in the DirectX 10 markets.

Financially, the company’s debts are mounting up fast after its $5.4 billion purchase of ATI Technologies. AMD’s first quarter loss of $611 million USD left analysts worried. AMD’s second quarter results were not any better, with a $600 million net loss. This forced the company to raise more cash by issuing $2.2 billion Convertible Senior Notes.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, however. AMD’s recent Technology Analyst Day outlined the company’s roadmaps with new technologies and products. The company’s next-generation Fusion architecture and octal-core Sandtiger provides hope in the long run.

AMD has yet to issue an official press release regarding the matter, nor has the company named a suitable replacement. An internal email, sent from Hector Ruiz to all AMD employees, reads the following:
We are sad to announce that Henri Richard has made the decision to leave AMD.

When Henri joined AMD in 2002, his primary mission was to establish a world class global Sales and Marketing organization. It is safe to say that he has accomplished that mission, and he is now ready for a new challenge in his career. While we will certainly miss him, it’s a measure of his success that the organization he leaves behind is fully poised to succeed and capable of maintaining and building the momentum that we built.

In the last five years, we have increased exponentially our global account foot print, acquiring customers of every caliber including the top PC and server OEMs around the world. In fact, from Toshiba and Acer to Lenovo, Dell, Sun and HP, we have become a critical strategic partner to our customers and a key component of enterprise solutions and consumer products worldwide.

Commensurate with this growth in our business, and the strength of our corporate and product brands.  We have a Sales and Marketing organization that can support and continue to grow our strategic importance to our customers. Nevertheless, we know this was a difficult decision for Henri, especially as we are poised to enjoy the successes of our acquisition of ATI, our upcoming quad-core Barcelona product and our strong product and technology roadmaps.

Henri’s official departure date is still pending, and we will communicate a leadership plan shortly.

Look for a Q&A with Henri to appear on AMD Online in the next day or two. Henri will discuss AMD’s accomplishments over the last five years, and our Phenomenal opportunities moving forward.

Please join us in thanking Henri for his leadership and wishing him well in his post-AMD career.
No official reasoning was mentioned by Ruiz for Richard's departure.  Richard's departure comes at a critical time; right in the middle of the upcoming Barcelona launch this quarter and Phenom FX by the end of the year.

Richard, in an interview with DailyTech in January of 2006, vowed the company would not stand still when it comes to new product development.

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RE: it seems
By Tuor on 8/22/2007 7:33:30 PM , Rating: 2
IMO, merging with ATi was the worst mistake AMD has made in a long time, and it may prove fatal to them. It distracted them from what needed to be a single-minded competition with Intel. The merger has sapped them of their agility as well.

I'm hoping that they regain some of their original leaness and again become competitive, but the current losses may be too great to be recoverable.

RE: it seems
By Hydrofirex on 8/22/2007 8:07:24 PM , Rating: 2
I totally disagree. Integrating GPU cores on the same die is a fantastic idea and a worthwhile strategic vision. The problem is simple - yet manifold. For starters, AMD needs competitive microprocessors (Which may [finally] come true sooner rather than later with Phenom). Secondly, they need to be able to meet launch dates and get into the market in a timely manner with new products. Which leads to their biggest problem: revenue. I've said it before and I'll say it again, processors require truckloads of investment in R&D (A problem that necessarily gets worse as the technology evolves). There is no way around this fact, and with a cash-laden competitor like Intel AMD doesn't seem to stand a chance. Executives jumping ship like they are leads me to believe the company is an even bigger buy out target.

I'd still like to see IBM get into the consumer arena by buying out AMD and funding them to the moon. With a company as diversified as the that would create, not to mention the R&D and patent resources, AMD would be able to compete in the long term with an Intel and not have to worry about loosing a round or two in meantime (This is Intel's big advantage in having the market share and money they do).

I can certainly imagine a 10-core+ CPU that has processors devoted to specialized and generalized tasks. Think general purpose, floating-point, OS accelerator, TCP/IP accelerator, and any number of specialty cores.


RE: it seems
By roadhog74 on 8/22/2007 11:38:11 PM , Rating: 3
not going to happen.

When was the last time IBM bought anything hardware related?
They have sold their
printer, hard drive and
consumer micro-computer divisions.

I can only wonder how long the workstation division
will last.

As far as CPU's go why would they want to
compete head to head with Intel in a commodity market?

RE: it seems
By James Holden on 8/23/2007 3:47:35 AM , Rating: 2
If anything they would just poach what's left of AMD employees and use their own design teams .

RE: it seems
By encryptkeeper on 8/23/2007 9:27:23 AM , Rating: 2
If anything, someone is on the shelf about it. Barcelona will make a big difference, if it shows some real potential competition to Intel someone will probably really consider buying them. There's too much money to be made buy some company with lots of assets but no ideas, which right now seems to be the opposite of AMD. I just bought a 4400+ X2, and according to bench tests on Toms Hardware, this thing competes very well (or better) than an E6320 but it's about 60 bucks less than the C2D.

If anything, a shake up in the marketing department is just one of the many things AMD needs. Unfortunately, so is cash, which AMD desperately needs so they can pay a NEW marketing exec, among other things.

RE: it seems
By Hawkido on 8/23/2007 11:07:45 AM , Rating: 2
While Initially I was very excited about the merger. Now (after the 2xxx HD series has launched and poorly) I feel AMD bought ATI 12 months too early.

If they would have waited about a year, ATI's value would have been 2 billion less and the acquisition would have been cheaper. AMD would have had more money to devote to getting the 65 NM shrink in place and gettting Barcelona out the door.

Unless, of course, they (AMD) needed the classified specs of the Radeon architecture to begin the integration into Barcelona for a future 2 core Barcelona fused with an ATI GPU on a chip. That would be the only reason to buy ATI sooner... It was a painful acquisition, and I am feeling it. I hope I can hold off buying a new computer for another year to see what happens. Intel has been making very nice CPU's recently (I bought my wife a C2D lappy, I really like it) but their products seem so vanilla (right now really good vanilla, but where's the chocolate or strawberry, or rocky road [Chunky Monkey FTW!])

AMD CPU's seem exotic, as they are not following the rest of the crowd, it always seems they are trying something new in this world of vanilla processors. I wish them the best, but without a viable competitor next year, I just may have to replace my desktop with an Intel, which will be my first Intel CPU since my Packard Bell Pentium 60. C2D is a good processor, and I won't regret my descision, but I will be sad that I had to part ways with a company that has WOW'd me for nearly a decade.

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