Recently, The Financial Post reported that California-based company Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is, once again, in the market for a new CEO. With the release date of its newest microprocessor fast approaching, Dirk Meyer’s resignation comes at an inopportune time.
AMD Chief Financial Officer Thomas Seifert has agreed to step in on a temporary basis while the company searches for new leadership, but the tremors of Meyer’s resignation were evident in the 9% drop in stock price following the announcement.
Meyer was appointed in 2008 shortly after AMD’s acquisition of ATI Technologies.  He captained the company through the merger, increased company stock by 75%, and maintained a steady vision to develop the new “Fusion” chip – so why has he decided to jump ship?
Several reports have speculated that board members were not satisfied that Meyer was, “moving fast enough to capitalize on market segments like tablet computers.”  While competing against Intel’s colossal 80% stronghold in the computer chip market, AMD maintained a focus on personal PC’s – A decision that they are likely reading about on their Ipads as having been a gross oversight.
It seems peculiar that months before the release of the project that drew the bulk of Meyer’s attention, he has decided to resign.  Alternatively, it is plausible that the board pushed him out due to poor direction.  Whatever the reason for Meyer’s abnegation, AMD will face some difficult decisions in the months to come.  With faith in their new product line wavering from Meyer’s departure, and years of catch-up due in the hand-held market, a drastic change will have to be made.
This should serve as a wake-up call to tech companies in particular that the blind following of company leadership can have adverse results.  Board members should be mindful of the repercussions of a poorly timed corporate restructuring.

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