Recently IBM announced that it was shuffling its deck of executive cards and now a similar announcement has come through from AMD.
Earlier today AMD announced several organizational and executive changes, which it claims are part of company’s “ongoing efforts to re-architect its business for sustained profitability”. This includes the formation of a Centralized Engineering organization and the appointment of 24-year AMD veteran Randy Allen to lead the company’s Computing Solutions Group.
The newly formed Central Engineering organization will be co-led by Chekib Akrout and Jeff VerHeul (corporate VP of design engineering at AMD). Akrout comes from Freescale Semiconductor where he served as VP of design technology. Prior to that, Mr. Akrout worked for IBM and was responsible for the company’s work on the Xbox 360 processor and embedded PowerPC cores.
Jeff VerHeul also comes from IBM with 25 years at the company under his belt. VerHeul joined AMD in 2005 and most recently led the company’s microprocessor design engineering organization. The Central Engineering leadership team will direct the development and execution of AMD’s technology and product roadmaps in partnership with AMD’s business units and will report directly to president and COO, Dirk Meyer
Newly appointed Senior VP of Computing Solutions, Randy Allen was previously responsible for AMD’s Server and Workstation business and oversaw microprocessor engineering for the company, including the introductions of the AMD Opteron and AMD Athlon 64 processors. His new post will place him in charge of the company’s portfolio of consumer and commercial microprocessor solutions and platforms. Mr. Allen will also report to Dirk Meyer.
Continuing the theme of chopping and changing managerial positions, AMD announced that former vice president of Computing Solutions, Mario Rivas had left to “pursue new opportunities” along with former senior vice president and Chief Talent Officer, Michel Codieux. Allen Sockwell is set to take over his position as well as filling the role of VP of Human Resources.
Is AMD what’s necessary to make positive changes in the company? It’s too early to tell, but what is clear is that many people have left the company — either by being fired or leaving on their own. What’s evident is that AMD is scrambling to make every effort it can to catch up to Intel. Last year was devastating for AMD both on a financial and product standpoint. Hopefully the tough changes that the company is making in 2008 will translate to a positive outlook in 2009.
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