AMD's new CEO will continue to focus on PC market, then cloud

AMD's new chief executive officer Rory P. Read spoke with investors about his plan for the company, but refrained from divulging specifics.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

There have been a lot of major shuffles in tech in the last week, from Hewlett-Packard shifting away from consumer tablets and PCs to the departure of Steve Jobs from Apple.

Another major tech company is getting a new CEO this week: AMD. Rory P. Read, who has previously been serving as chief operating officer and president of Lenovo, is stepping in to replace interim CEO Thomas Seifert, who will return to acting as senior vice president and chief financial officer.

See also: AMD names Lenovo exec Rory Read CEO, eyes post PC plan

Speaking during a conference call with investors and the media about the announcement on Thursday morning, Bruce Claflin, chairman of AMD's board of directors who was part of the search committee for AMD's new CEO, said that Read was appointed because they wanted "a CEO who is capable of taking the company to the next level."

However, Read refrained from offering many specific details about his future plans for AMD.

When asked about his plan for the next 100 days, Read said he wants to "really take the time to learn the business," building a strong foundation, reaching out to customers and partners to get an "exchange of information."

As for the time beyond that, Read repeatedly cited the need to keep AMD's "momentum" going. That momentum, Read said, has been fueled by nine quarters in a row of non-GAAP profit and 12 million Fusion APUs shipped in the first few months of availability.

Read did take a firm stance on the personal computer sector, arguing that the PC market is a core industry that will continue to expand. Although PC shipments are bobbing up and down these days in the U.S., Read maintained an optimistic outlook and pointed towards growth in emerging markets.

"There are 4.5 billion people in emerging markets with no technology except smartphones and cell phones," Read said, adding that there is a huge opportunity here for AMD to expand.

Read also cited some of AMD's other strengths, including Fusion APUs and Bulldozer chips, and plans to expand further into the server and cloud spaces as those trends continue to emerge.

On the product side, Read mentioned working more specifically with notebook and gaming console manufacturers as well as hopeful thoughts about Windows 8. When asked about tablets, Seifert stepped into give the most solid piece of the road-map, affirming that AMD has plans to be involved with a Windows 8-powered slate PC.


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