updated 10:05 am EDT, Thu August 25, 2011
Lenovo ThinkPad pioneer leaves for AMD
The PC world took another hit Thursday after AMD said it had hired away Lenovo president and COO Rory Read. The executive will now be AMD's CEO, president, and board of directors member. Read's exit takes effect immediately.
Lenovo hasn't detailed who would replace Read. The veteran is replacing Tom Seifert, who stepped in as a temporary CEO after the sudden resignation of long-serving company leader Dirk Meyer at the start of the year.
Read's departure could affect Lenovo's PC strategy. Having served 23 years at IBM before heading to Lenovo with IBM's PC spinoff in 2005, he has played an important part in building up the home computer businesses at both companies, most of all at Lenovo. Many credit his becoming president of Lenovo at 2009 with starting a quick rise in the company's PC business. As of mid-year, Lenovo was one of the few Windows PC makers growing quickly in the world. Lenovo's inherent advantage as a Chinese company in a growing market, as well as the ThinkPad's reputation, have pushed it past Acer in world share.
He leaves just as HP is mulling giving up PCs and affecting one of Microsoft's most important sources of revenue. Lenovo's impact won't be as serious but will depend heavily on Read's replacement.
PCs will still get some help through the AMD swap. The market is still dominated by Intel, which makes nearly 80 percent of computer processors. An effective command from Read could improve AMD's market share and lead to fiercer competition with lower processor prices and faster chips.