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AMD still mum on its 'asset smart' strategy

The wait for AMD to outline its so-called "asset smart" strategy continues. AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in his annual shareholder meeting address failed to add any more detail about its manufacturing strategy going forward.
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Written by Larry Dignan on

The wait for AMD to outline its so-called "asset smart" strategy continues. AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in his annual shareholder meeting address failed to add any more detail about its manufacturing strategy going forward.

AMD outlined its new server roadmap on Wednesday.

In many respects, Ruiz reiterated previous comments that boil down to this:

  • AMD is "strategically important" to the computer industry.
  • "I could not be more disappointed with our financial results. The Barcelona delay really hurts."
  • But those problems are behind AMD.
  • The future is bright.

That was it. The shareholder meeting lasted 27 minutes or so and it would have been 22 minutes if the only shareholder question wasn't a rambling mess. Some folks say there's no such thing as a dumb question. These folks are wrong.

The first (and last) shareholder question was about golf and sponsoring a tournament. The guy rambled on for five minutes just to ask whether AMD would sponsor a golf tournament. Ruiz said he'd take the suggestion seriously. Me? If there were ever a good time for a hook this would be the case. This guy--who owned 1,000 AMD shares--really made me wish I had a button for a trap door.

But I digress. Anyone looking for detail from Ruiz was disappointed. Ruiz said that AMD remains "on the path of profitability." Now not all of this disappointment is the fault of Ruiz. Analysts were hoping that Ruiz would use the shareholder meeting to offer up some detail about its strategy. Instead it was more of the same.

Among the Ruiz-isms:

  • "Our long-term plan is to be profitability in good times and bad. We're currently reorganizing the company."
  • "We're progressing forward with asset smart strategy," but Ruiz added that he hopes to "disclose more details" at a future date.
  • AMD will focus on its core strategy and products. AMD is "doing fewer things better."
  • Customers want choice and AMD's "product execution is back on track."
  • "We're overcoming challenges we've faced in the recent past. I stand before you with a company that is fundamentally stronger. Our customers have begun to reap the benefits of competition."

The big question today--as it was yesterday and a year ago--is what will this asset smart strategy look like. Could AMD go fabless? Will this be a partial outsourcing strategy? What's IBM's role here as a manufacturing partner? Can you go partially fabless and continue to innovate enough to leapfrog Intel?

We're still waiting for those answers.

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