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Old 18th Sep 2012, 10:37   #1
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AMD CFO Thomas Seifert quits

Seifert continues AMD's shocking track record with high-level executives:
http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardwar...eifert-quits/1
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 11:02   #2
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it's tempting to read too much into these departures but one by one, those in charge overseeing the Bulldozer debacle are leaving.

Rats leaving a sinking ship?.
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 13:22   #3
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It is tempting to read into it. Unfortunately, until Piledriver or Steamroller appear and we know exactly what they're going to perform like, supposition will do more harm than good. That won't stop it, though.

Of course, there are a whole host of other possibilities, but when it comes to AMD, people always seem to jump to the worst option (not without some justification, given how pants Phenom I and Bulldozer were/are...)

Thing is, all the non-Intel x86 chipmakers were always chasing after Intel. AMD is the only one who survived to create their own brand in a good light (thanks to Athlon Thunderbird, Athlon XP and Athlon 64). With Intel's Pentium 4 'misstep' AMD had a chance to get ahead, which they did... then floundered - not entirely their own fault, Intel had a lot of power over the big OEMs, Microsoft were very slow to get an x64 OS out, and then it was poorly supported... but anyway, the point is AMD are back in their old place of 'catching up' to Intel.
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 17:15   #4
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If he was head of technical development or research then maybe you could worry a little. However, these posts go from time to time across large listed companies. I really wouldn't read too much into this.
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 17:17   #5
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It also doesn't warrant any past or present comparisons with Intel as this has no connection to anything other than him leaving his CFO post.
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 20:39   #6
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Plus, he is a CFO. He is not the brain behind anything you people would care about. Unless you are an accountant.
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 20:41   #7
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Sorry, jumped to the bottom after the second comment. As snips says, he ain't in charge of the tech.
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 20:43   #8
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As an accountant this is interesting only in it means a new top job is open maybe I should apply
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 20:59   #9
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A CFO that held the position of CEO for what ... 6 months? I guess he's more than an accountant if a corporation the size of AMD let him hold the reins that long.
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 22:34   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by law99
Plus, he is a CFO. He is not the brain behind anything you people would care about. Unless you are an accountant.
A CFO is only is basically responsible for cashflow and signing off investments (amongst many, many other things), but hey, what company need money?
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Old 19th Sep 2012, 04:53   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter
<snip>

Thing is, all the non-Intel x86 chipmakers were always chasing after Intel. AMD is the only one who survived to create their own brand in a good light (thanks to Athlon Thunderbird, Athlon XP and Athlon 64). With Intel's Pentium 4 'misstep' AMD had a chance to get ahead, which they did... then floundered - not entirely their own fault, Intel had a lot of power over the big OEMs, Microsoft were very slow to get an x64 OS out, and then it was poorly supported... but anyway, the point is AMD are back in their old place of 'catching up' to Intel.
Who are all these 'non-Intel x86 chipmakers' you speak of? As far as I'm aware, the only other x86 licensee was Cyrix, which lives on through Via. And Via's never chased Intel - their markets are pretty fundamentally different. Not sure about Cyrix, but Via, as far as there x86 business goes, are deep in embedded markets and industrial control. They have their little forays into the consumer space, but they could likely give that up without feeling much pain. I find some of their boards mightily tempting (pico-ITX) but the cost is prohibitive for what you get.

I don't know that there's a whole lot to this - for all we know, he really dug being CEO and was hoping to take back the crown. Once he thought it was clear that wasn't going to happen, he bailed. Maybe he's got a sick kid or wife. Anyway, he was the CFO. Tell me if AMD's head of engineering has split, then I'll sweat. Not going to lie awake at night because they lost their head beancounter.
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Old 19th Sep 2012, 08:02   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips View Post
If he was head of technical development or research then maybe you could worry a little.
Quote:
Originally Posted by law99 View Post
Plus, he is a CFO. He is not the brain behind anything you people would care about. Unless you are an accountant.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluxtatic View Post
Tell me if AMD's head of engineering has split, then I'll sweat. Not going to lie awake at night because they lost their head beancounter.
Allow me to highlight a rather important link from the article you appear to have missed: AMD's chief technology officer steps down. As the article states, Seifert's departure is merely the latest in a stream of top-level executive losses going back half a decade - and if you don't care about the chief financial officer, perhaps the loss of the chief technology officer warrants a raised eyebrow or two?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickCPC View Post
A CFO is only is basically responsible for cashflow and signing off investments (amongst many, many other things), but hey, what company need money?
Exactly. A CFO is a little bit more than an 'accountant.'
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Last edited by Gareth Halfacree; 19th Sep 2012 at 08:09.
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Old 19th Sep 2012, 10:13   #13
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No disrespect Gareth in any way but 4 years + in this industry is a lifetime and linking the two could be a little harsh. I don't have to repeat here the troubles at AMD for nearly a decade but as I said earlier, I'd be worried if more technical development heads went. As I am one of AMD's biggest critics, the news of their CFO when AMD still post huge losses year on year which keep getting bigger, I'm surprised he wasn't pushed for allowing funds to be spent on projects that really can't compete well in the marketplace.
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Old 19th Sep 2012, 10:24   #14
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Quote:
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No disrespect Gareth in any way but 4 years + in this industry is a lifetime and linking the two could be a little harsh.
But it's not linking two top-level departures, it's linking many top-level departures. As the article points out, in the last five years AMD has lost Dirk Meyer, Hector Ruiz, Henri Richard, Dave Orton, Phil Hester, and Bob Feldstein - and those are just the ones we wrote about. In the same time, the only interesting high-level hire AMD has made is Jim Keller as chief architect at the microprocessor division.

When you're losing more high-level people than you're hiring, it's indicative of a problem - and when it continues for half a decade, it's indicative of a serious problem. Mind you, there's no need to take my word for it: the news of Seifert's departure has led investors to drop AMD in droves, with the company's share price currently sitting down by almost 10 points.
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Old 19th Sep 2012, 16:49   #15
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What they have shown to do is promote from within. You can't really say the big names they had have done a good job. The share price has been in a laughable position for quite a few years now with no signs of recovery.
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Old 22nd Sep 2012, 16:22   #16
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Quote:
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What they have shown to do is promote from within. You can't really say the big names they had have done a good job. The share price has been in a laughable position for quite a few years now with no signs of recovery.
Hardly through choice though, they must have been struggling to recruit and promoting from within is likely the only remaining option. The big names have left most probably because of frustration with culture or direction from the absolute most senior levels - from what I have read, Hector Ruiz made some terrible decisions and if you have a problem with a company's chairman, you'll be told "it's my way or the highway" and undoubtedly many people, including the widely-reported as incredibly talented Dirk Meyer, decided the door was the only option.

It's painfully clear they have haemorrhaged top talent, which indicates serious deep-rooted problems.
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