Ever since we learned Rory Read was stepping down and Lisa Su was taking over as AMD CEO, we were on a mission to find out what was behind the company's decision and timing.
After some research and inquiries with multiple sources we can confirm that the transition was not rushed and forced. It was a planned transition and it was in the works for a while. Rory was brought in to restructure AMD and prepare the company for the future, as the long-term strategy set by Dirk Meyer was not working as expected. AMD has fallen behind Intel and the company's prospects were affected by delays and execution issues.
Rory's key job was to stop the slide and get AMD back to profitability and that is exactly what he did. Many of his decisions were not popular but they worked. A source has told us that Lisa Su was groomed to become the new CEO of AMD.
Lisa understands products and this is something that company like AMD needs. This brings back memories of Microsoft's CEO search and the time it was trying to get Ford CEO Alan Mulally. Bill Gates insisted with the board that they choose an in-house, tech savvy candidate. The press felt more confident about AMD with Dirk Meyer at the helm than Rory Reed, but Read is an operations exec rather than a techie.
Lisa has a better understanding of technology as she has an engineering background. She knows that time to market and better execution are crucial for the future of AMD. She was groomed for the CEO position from the day she joined the company and it was obvious that this will take place in case she did well. Guess what, she did well and as a result Su is now taking over. We also hear that there will be some more radical changes at AMD over the next few months.
We still don’t know why AMD chose to announce Lisa Su's promotion a week before its financial conference call, but since the call takes place on the 16th, or tomorrow, we should know soon enough.