updated 06:20 pm EST, Mon January 10, 2011
AMD CEO Dirk Meyer quits in surprise move
AMD revealed a surprise upheaval at the company Monday afternoon as it said its CEO Dirk Meyer had resigned. The unexpected move was characterized as a "mutual agreement" but will see Meyer quit immediately. Chief Financial Officer Thomas Seifert will step in as temporary CEO but won't be a candidate for a permanent replacement.
The chip designer was complimentary to Meyer in the exit and credited him with turning around the company after struggling to regain the lead over Intel. He helped orchestrate the spin-off of AMD's chip manufacturing as Globalfoundries, landed a $1.25 billion settlement from Intel over anti-competitive behavior and helped bring the company back to relevance with its just-launched Fusion chips, which can outperform Intel's CULV chips.
The departure while mutual has raised concerns that Meyer may have been involved in a rift with the company, since most amicable departures often have a grace period where the outgoing executive stays until a proper replacement is ready. It draws immediate parallels between AMD and the forcet ouster of HP's CEO Mark Hurd, where he too left suddenly after he was caught not only in possible involvement with a contractor but leaking deals and manipulating expenses to hide his possibly sexually-motivated visits.
Officials from the company haven't provided further explanation so far.
AMD still faces significant obstacles, such as its lagging performance in mainstream desktop and notebook chips and stiff competition with NVIDIA in graphics.