AMD CEO Resigns, CFO Named Interim Chief

AMD's Chief Executive Officer has resigned as the world's No. 2 maker of PC microprocessor chips said it was seeking a new CEO to boost the company's growth. AMD said the resignation of Dirk Meyer was the result of a "mutual agreement" with the board of directors and that Chief Financial Officer Thomas Seifert will become interim CEO, effective immediately, as the company looks for a permanent replacement.

The sudden departure of the 49-year-old Meyer, who headed the team that developed one of AMD's most successful chips before becoming CEO in 2008, caught some Wall Street analysts by surprise. "This is no doubt going to be viewed as a potential loss of momentum," said Gleacher & Company analyst Doug Freedman.

The company said there were no financial or performance issues with Meyer that led to his departure. A spokesman declined to say how long the change had been in the works or provide other details on the negotiations around his exit. A source familiar with the matter said the board viewed Meyer as somebody who stabilised AMD and helped turn it around, but wanted to look elsewhere for an executive to accelerate the company's growth.

The change in AMD's leadership comes less than three years after Meyer took the reins and brought stability to the chipmaker's operations. A turbulent period under previous CEO Hector Ruiz was marked by a technical glitch that delayed the availability of a key product. Meyer oversaw AMD as it spun off its manufacturing arm into a separate company, carrying out a plan laid out by Ruiz. "Dirk was very impressive in getting the company on a stable footing," said Gleacher & Company's Freedman. But he added, "I don't know that people viewed Dirk as being the best visionary and strategy roadmap guy."

Seifert, 47, will maintain his current duties as CFO and has asked not to be considered for the permanent CEO job, according to the company's statement. "Dirk became CEO during difficult times," AMD Chairman of the Board Bruce Claflin said in a statement, citing Meyer's various accomplishments. "However, the Board believes we have the opportunity to create increased shareholder value over time," Claflin said. "This will require the company to have significant growth, establish market leadership and generate superior financial returns. We believe a change in leadership at this time will accelerate the company's ability to accomplish these objectives."

Updated Date: Feb 02, 2017 22:54:12 IST