updated 08:15 am EST, Tue January 11, 2011
AMD CEO Meyer pushed out due to tablets
The sudden ouster of AMD's CEO Dirk Meyer was owed to poor competition against Apple and Intel in tablets, insiders said Tuesday. Although the company didn't give a formal explanation, those aware said the board of directors forced him out as they were frustrated with a lack of growth in server-class hardware and the tablet field established by the iPad. A presentation in November revealed that Meyer just wasn't moving fast enough for the board's liking, the WSJ said.
Company representative Drew Praire didn't confirm the explicit reasons but did acknowledge that Meyer had been asked to quit as he wasn't growing the company quickly enough. "We're marching in the right direction, but the issue was just with the pace and finding ways to accelerate the pace," he explained.
AMD has had very little presence in tablets, even compared to the still struggling Intel. Where Intel has always been in conventional Windows tablet PCs and has landed a handful of key, newer design tablets like the Samsung Sliding PC 7, AMD has been virtually non-existent in the area and thus has had no answer either to Atom-based tablets or to Apple. Chips like the Athlon Neo, Turion Neo and the new Fusion E-series usually consume more power than an Atom and would most likely end up in a larger design that wouldn't compete in portability or battery life with either Intel or ARM-based designs like the iPad or Galaxy Tab.
In servers, the Opteron family has often performed better and comes in versions with as many as 12 cores, but Intel's Xeon family continues to dominate.
Company co-founder Jerry Sanders has already weighed in on the departure and accused AMD of a knee-jerk reaction where it didn't get an immediate answer to tablets. The board was just hoping for a "magic bullet" that would suddenly give it an edge over a weak spot in Intel's line, he said.
AMD's few wins in recent memory have focused mostly on the results of its acquisition of ATI, including both its Radeon HD graphics and Fusion chips that build the graphics directly into the processor core.