Read steps down, Su steps up as AMD CEO

October 9, 2014 | 11:18

Tags: #chief-executive #dirk-meyer #lisa-su #president #rory-read

Companies: #amd

AMD has announced that chief executive Rory Read is to step down from the company, being replaced with immediate effect by Dr. Lisa Su.

Formerly chief operating officer, the 44-year-old Su becomes AMD's chief executive officer and president with immediate effect. She joined the company in 2012, a year into the 52-year-old Read's reign, following stints at Freescale Semiconductor as senior vice president of networking and multimedia and IBM in divisions including the company's semiconductor research and development centre. Her technical background includes bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a fellowship of the Instutute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) held since 2009.

'Leadership succession planning has been a joint effort between Rory and the board and we felt that Lisa’s expertise and proven leadership in the global semiconductor industry make this an ideal time for her to lead the company,' claimed Bruce Claflin, AMD's chair, of the move. 'The board looks forward to continuing to work with Lisa and the rest of the senior management team to build on the company’s momentum. I would also like to thank Rory for his many accomplishments and contributions positioning AMD for long-term success by helping to create a strong foundation and clear path to re-establish the company’s growth and profitability.'

'I am deeply honoured to have this opportunity to lead AMD during this important time of transformation. Our world-class technology assets combined with the incredible talent and passion of the AMD team provide us with a unique opportunity to shape the future of computing,' Su claimed. 'I look forward to expanding on the strong foundation we have built under Rory’s leadership as we develop industry-leading technologies and products for a diverse set of markets to drive sustainable and profitable growth.'

Read became AMD's president and chief executive in 2011, replacing Dirk Meyer. His short tenure has been nevertheless notable for having turned AMD around, taking it from regular and massive revenue shortfalls to at least occasional modest profits in just three years. 'I am grateful to have had the opportunity to lead such a talented team and proud of what we have accomplished during such an important chapter in the company’s history,' said Read of his departure. 'Together, we have established the right strategy to enable AMD to continue to grow and transform. I am confident that Lisa is the right leader to drive AMD forward.'

Su indicated the direction in which she intends to steer the company in a press conference following the announcement. 'The transformation of AMD is really about taking our leadership IP and technology assets and applying them to the most important and challenging applications of the future. This is how we create shareholder value and build a strong and sustainable business,' she told attendees. 'My key priorities will be centred on several themes. First and foremost we are here to build great products. These are enabled through our investments in differentiated IP coupled with our design, integration, and system capabilities. Mark Papermaster and his team have established good momentum here, and this will continue to be our highest priority.

'We will also drive deeper and more strategic relationships with key market leaders. We have proven with the game console ramp that we can be a trusted supplier to key market makers. This model of co-development and deep partnership will become more important in the future and we will expand our efforts in this area.

'Lastly, as we continue our transformation we will simplify the company and sharpen our focus. An example of that simplification happened several months ago when we separated the AMD business into two groups around the Computing and Graphics business and the Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom business. This separation enables us to optimise each business for the unique customer and market requirements. In the coming quarters we will continue to simplify the business and speed our execution across the company.'

A video introducing Su in her new role is embedded below. Read is to remain at the company until the end of the year in an advisory role to aid with the transition, and has not yet indicated what his plans are post-AMD.

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