Consumer Electronics

Meet AMD's New CEO (AMD, INTC, ARMH, IBM, DELL, HPQ)

Jon C. Ogg

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE: AMD) is in a constant state of challenge.  Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) is just too formidable of competitor.  AMD has been without a CEO since Dirk Meyer resigned back in January and it has been a challenge ever since.  What Intel has not been able to claim away, ARM Holdings plc (NASDAQ: ARMH) and even Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) have been able to in mobile internet computing.  Help has arrived now that AMD has finally named a new CEO.

AMD’s Board of Directors has appointed Rory P. Read as President and Chief Executive Officer with an effective date of TODAY.  The 49-year old Read will also join the AMD  board of directors.

Most recently, Read was President & COO of Lenovo Group, Ltd., where he ran daily global operations and oversaw the growth strategy. He is also credited with helping to take Lenovo into new markets, growing market share, and expanding profitability.  He managed Lenovo’s Americas group and reversed operating losses to consistent profitability.

Read was promoted to President and COO of Lenovo in 2009.  He also spent some 23 years at International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM).  As you know, Lenovo took over the IBM PC unit.

The big question is this… Can a PC guy from what used to IBM PC make companies like Acer, Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL), Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), and others take a larger step away from Intel?  This remains to be seen.

AMD shares are responding as though Read is at least no dud.  The stock is up 3% at $6.53 and the 52-week range is $5.53 to $9.58.

Our vote is currently still not cast.  AMD’s trouble runs so deep in the market and we have heard over and over that Intel has from time to time actually delayed product launches just so that it would not take even more market share away so it can avoid the monopoly situation.  Whether or not that is true depends upon whom you ask.

Now the real work for AMD begins as the world is supposedly in a post-PC era.  Here is AMD’s announcement and here is Lenovo’s announcement (with praise).

JON C. OGG