AMD chief Meyer resigns

Chip maker AMD has announced that CEO Dirk Meyer has left the company after two and half years at the helm.

A statement published on Monday by AMD, the world’s second largest chip vendor after Intel, said that Meyer’s departure was by "mutual agreement" with its board of directors, and effective immediately.

AMF has appointed CFO Thomas Seifert as interim CEO. A search committee led by board chairman Bruce Claflin is tasked with finding a long-term successor to Meyer.

"The board believes we have the opportunity to create increased shareholder value over time. This will require the company to have significant growth, establish market leadership and generate superior financial returns," Claflin said in a statement. "We believe a change in leadership at this time will accelerate the company’s ability to accomplish these objectives."

During Meyer’s tenure, he oversaw the spin off of AMD’s manufacturing arm into a separate company, GlobalFoundries. Meyer also guided the company through its litigation suit with Intel, which alleged its larger competitor of unfairly offering rebates to Japanese computer makers. AMD won that case in 2009, agreeing a $1.25 billion settlement with Intel.

In its last two quarters, AMD had recorded double digit revenue growt, but has suffered heavy losses to its bottom line as a result of the GlobalFoundries spin off. AMD says that financial performance was not a consideration in Meyer’s departure, however.

One financial analyst commented that Meyer had provided AMD with much-needed stability after a turbulent time under predecessor Hector Ruiz. "Dirk was very impressive in getting the company on a stable footing," Doug Freedman, of Gleacher & Company, told Reuters news agency. However, he questioned whether the company’s board saw Meyer as the man to move the company forward. "I don’t know that people viewed Dirk as being the best visionary and strategy road map guy," he added.

In other chipmaker news, Intel has agreed to pay graphics chip make Nvidia $1.5 billion for the right to use technology the smaller company developed.

Elsewhere in Silicon Valley, the head of Microsoft’s server division Bob Muglia has stepped down after 23 years at the company. "Bob Muglia and I have been talking about the overall business and what is needed to accelerate our growth," wrote Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wrote in an internal memo "In this context, I have decided that now is the time to put new leadership in place for [server division]."

Peter Done

Peter Done is managing director of Peninsula Business Services, the personnel and employment law consultancy he set up having already built a successful betting shop business.

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