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What's in store for AMD under Meyer's lead?

Posted: 21 Jul 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:microprocessor market? AMD CEO? Dirk Meyer?

Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s top executive change is getting a cold treatment from the investment market, perhaps in recognition of the fact that Dirk Meyer's replacement of Hector Ruiz as CEO probably won't result in any radical changes at the microprocessor vendor.

The company's stock price slipped more than 7 percent in after hour trading following the July 17 announcement, to $4.95 from the closing price of $5.30. The decline could be a sign investors weren't thrilled with Meyer's appointment. It could also be a response to the weaker-than-expected Q2 results AMD reported earlier.

After eight and a half years with the company, Ruiz is hardly stepping aside despite the new CEO appointment. The semiconductor industry veteran is staying on at the company as executive chairman and chair of the board of directors, guaranteeing his vision for the company would remain the basic road map under the new CEO.

By securing the appointment of his handpicked successor, Ruiz is assured further AMD won't be making any radical changes to the reorganization initiatives being implemented at the company even as it continues to pile up losses and as its market value declines in response to previous manufacturing problems.

Meyer, a 12-year veteran of the microprocessor and graphic IC vendor, is taking over the top executive function at the company at a time it is struggling with mounting net losses, eroding market share and an ongoing reorganization that's meant to help AMD recover grounds lost to market leader Intel Corp.

AMD said the appointment of Meyer, 46and until the latest move president and chief operating officer (COO) of AMDwas part of a succession program it initiated two years ago.

"Dirk is a gifted leader who possesses the right skills and experience to continue driving AMD and the industry forward in new, compelling directions," Ruiz said in a statement.

Meyer's appointment wasn't a surprise. Ruiz had previously indicated he would be handing over the top job at AMD although his decision to stay on as executive chairman points to the likelihood the 62 years old semiconductor veteran would still be a major influential figure at the company.

Meyer has been involved in key functions at the company since being appointed head of the microprocessor business in 2001. He was named president and COO in 2006 and elected to the board of directors one year later.

- Bolaji Ojo
EE Times

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