AMD HQ = ghost town

By dividebyzero · 7 replies
Nov 3, 2011
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  1. AMD's continuing "restructuring" under CEO Rory Read seems to be moving at a fair pace.
    After AMD's initial court-martial of Dirk Meyer and subsequent desertions by Marty Seyer, Robert Rivet, Jeff Verheul and Rick Bergman (amongst others), it seems that Rory's mighty axe of redundancy is about to lop off a few more executive benefit packages...

    Colour me disappointed that the names Nigel Dessau and John Fruehe aren't among the first cull.
  2. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    well Chef,
    Think they are preparing to be purchased,merged, or just attracting investors?
    ...I suppose they could be putting more into R&D as well.
  3. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Topic Starter Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    I think I might have mentioned it before (or possibly at TPU) that I thought Rory Read was brought in for one purpose with one intended side effect.

    The purpose being to drive AMD's stock price down far enough to make investors jump at a takeover offer from ATIC.

    I'd hazard a guess that of the 1400 people being "optimized" out of a job, approximately 0.0 will be board members. I would also expect any high ranking VP with views of keeping AMD in it's present form (U.S. based/CPU/APU/GPU-centric) to be first out the door.

    The side effect will likely be a 180° about-face. I really wouldn't be surprised to see AMD cede/shed the enterprise portion of it's business, and with it the desktop at performance/enthusiast level. I think in the short term we will see
    1.Trinity being bigged-up and Piledriver/Steamroller/Excavator progressively marginalized
    2.AMD seeding posts/articles regarding how short sighted Dirk and Co were for jettisoning the handheld market for a paltry $65m.

    I think AMD have always suffered from a form of group myopia. Concentrating heavily on their architecture and at the same time oblivious to what is actually occuring outside their corporate HQ. Take Bulldozer for instance- it evolved through many iterations from it's inception as a 45nm part- but while they are refining and tweaking the design they simultaneously assume that Intel are moving at a pace equal or slower than they are. No different to the HD 6970 - design Cypress to beat an existing part ( GF100), without giving a thought that Nvidia might just tweak their own architecture- and this coming just after Nvidia proving that they could turn a sow's ear into a silk purse ( GF100 to GF104 a.k.a. GTX 460).

    I'm not to sure that Sunnyvale HQ's water supply isn't contaminated by psychotics* that imbue the drinkers with a yearning for self-destruction

    /*cue Intel conspiracy

    Possible...but then $100m or so (is this after severence packages?) doesn't buy a lot of R&D, and why boot Carrell Killebrew -the (engineering) guy behind Eyefinity?
  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Topic Starter Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Anand's take on Carrell Killebrew being one of AMD's casualties.

    Simon Solotko ( he of the AMD Holodeck project and various LN2/LHe overclocking events including the recent FX-8150 @ 8.4GHz record) gets a pink slip also.

    SKYMTL from Hardware Canucks (in the same thread as above) states that AMD are paring down their graphics driver team numbers.

    This is starting to look more like mortgaging the future to make the books look good for a financial quarter or two.
  5. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    Hmmm, it has crossed my mind that they feel they have enough accomplished apprentices to carry on. I mean why on earth would you screw with the cash cow (GPU)? Investors like a lean mean bottom line, but they also like to see good vision and decision makers in place no?

    *** on the other hand ...It never ceases to amaze me how new ownership will come in , install their vision into something that is working well.

    and I guess the fact that ole Johnny F is not on the list shows he was merely the mouthpiece for the pre-BD marketing.
    seems AMD is going from cutting edge to cutting ledge.
  6. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Topic Starter Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Rory's backround at IBM and Lenovo especially tends to indicate that AMD are leaning towards a less diversified cookie-cutter type range of products- high volume, average to low selling price.

    A couple of things spring to mind:
    Firstly, how much faith does AMD have in Llano, Bobcat, Piledriver and the HD7xxx/GCN series if they are already bulwarking the next few financial quarters by laying off 12+% of their workforce ?
    Secondly, It would seem reasonable that the competant people being sacked would find work at AMD's competitors. Sacking an employee usually means they aren't bound by the non-competition conditions that usually are in effect in a headhunted situation. It would seem that AMD are basically giving away a fair amount of IP....unless of course, that IP is no longer a factor in the companys long term strategy.

    I'm actually hoping that Rory is presiding over the ritual disembowelment of AMD. If the BoD are looking at some short term dividends and a nice stock buyout/continued BoD seat, then ATIC has some truly serious money to put into R&D...unless the x86 cross licence agreement with Intel is non-transferable, in which case I don't think this happens.

    Worst case scenario is AMD contract their product lines and operate as a vastly slimmed down version concentrating on the mobile market (again, day late dollar short ) and all-in-one type deskops/laptops with Trinity. Squeezed between Intel at the high end and ARM at the low end, I could see AMD cruising along at "barely relevent" status (unless they actually start innovating and pushing technology rather than just developing hardware and hoping others want to use it*) with a possibility (warning sarcasm approaching) that Intel have to buy a few million AMD chips every year to keep AMD functioning and the various monopoly commissions of their back...AMD cash constrained to the extent that R&D barely has a pulse, while the Intel cream the high margin markets and progressively work toward the ultra portable sector.
    At present the one shining light for AMD would be the fact that they seem to be frontrunners in providing the next-gen console hardware...unfortunately, I care as much about consoles as I care about smartphones, e-readers and tablets.

    * By that I mean AMD waffling on about Fusion for 4+ years yet it was Intel was first to market with a CPU with integrated GPU, and being "all for" OpenCL yet relying entirely on third party software designers to implement it and thereby make FirePro etc. relevent.

    EDIT: On a related note, Simon Solotko's post on XS (post #36) indicates that he will probably continue to be well worth following:
  7. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Topic Starter Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    One down...and not before time
  8. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Topic Starter Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Which seems to be coming to pass (quelle surprise).
    AMD's Financial Analyst Day slides:
    AMD for 2012...
    AMD for 2013...

    Piledriver to remain on 32nm through 2013.
    No Steamroller replacement within that timeframe-either for client or server
    somewhat at odds with the roadmap three months ago...

    But APU moves to 28nm (with Steamroller cores)

    This looks very much like AMD saying goodbye to the server and high-end CPU market.

    [Source- PC Perspective]

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