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Rory Read, chief executive officer of Advanced Micro Devices who took office a little more than sixty days ago, addressed the company’s employees following massive layoffs that affected between 1400 and 1500 workers. The executive of the company will unveil the chip designer’s new strategy this Wednesday and completely believes that AMD will be able to deliver on its commitments even with dramatically reduced workforce.

“Today we undertook the difficult, but necessary step, of implementing a reduction in our AMD workforce. This is a company-wide action that will include all functions and locations across AMD and impact approximately 10% of our global workforce. […] Our industry is at an inflection point as new trends emerge around the consumer experience, the breakdown of traditional control points and technology convergence. It’s clear we have to take aggressive steps to create distinct value for our customers, and must optimize our existing business today while enabling the company to capture future growth,” the letter by Rory Read (which has been published by a company’s [perhaps, former] employee on conditions of anonimity) claims.

Based on unofficial information, AMD intends to unveil a new strategy under which the company’s low-power micro-architecture code-named Bobcat will play a much more critical role in the company’s future than it was originally intended to.

Although the company fired massive amounts of people worldwide across different divisions, the massive hits were taken by public relations and marketing departments, which will be extremely reduced in terms of headcount. Although this will reduce costs, it is clear that this will also greatly reduce AMD’s ability to advertize itself in various way, which will automatically translate into better recognition of Intel, Nvidia and other historical competitors of AMD among end-users.

“We have to rebalance our skillsets to better align with these market shifts and implement a more competitive cost structure. Our competitors are serious and significant, and we will take the required actions to beat them. All of the transformation work we have underway, like Project WIN, will help drive operational improvements, increase efficiencies and lower our operating costs, but we need to take additional action. A lower cost base allows us to be more competitive today and to invest back into the business to fuel our “attack” strategies in— low power, emerging markets and the cloud.  I will share more insights into our strategy and path forward in my upcoming Worldcast on November 9th,” Mr. Read announced.

It remains to be seen how competitive will AMD be as a result of the most recent staff cut. The Sunnyvale, California-based company already had to cut some corners when designing its Bulldozer micro-architecture and the latter failed to become the world’s highest performing microprocessor.

“I believe in my core that AMD is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the opportunities in front of us, and it is up to us to seize them. If we stay focused and continue to tap into the fighting spirit that lives within the walls of AMD, we can build momentum every day moving forward. […] We still have work to do as we prepare for 2012 and I am entirely confident that we will be ready. We must keep moving forward. Customer interest for our products is positive and demand remains strong, so it’s critical that we remain focused on delivering on our commitments in Q4, stressed Mr. Read.

Tags: AMD, Business, Bobcat, Bulldozer

Discussion

Comments currently: 34
Discussion started: 11/07/11 04:08:30 PM
Latest comment: 11/09/11 05:51:09 PM
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1. 
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0 9 [Posted by: vid_ghost  | Date: 11/07/11 04:08:30 PM]
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You mean like Llano? I thought you guys said that was a fail too.
5 0 [Posted by: otis_spunkmeyer  | Date: 11/07/11 04:39:41 PM]
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1 6 [Posted by: Tukee44  | Date: 11/07/11 08:04:06 PM]
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I think pretty much everyone agrees that the APU strategy is helping AMD.
3 0 [Posted by: mikato  | Date: 11/08/11 11:56:05 AM]
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You mean the APU strategy that made of most of their money, in laptops much less, where AMD had never been able to compete with Intel before now? The same APUs that are the only product on the market to deliver robust graphics, powerful CPU, and long battery life, without the need for a 12-cell battery? The only quad-core laptop you can buy that doesn't cost an ARM and a leg? The entry level APUs that obliterated Intel Atom and stole their entire piece of the pie? That APU?
0 0 [Posted by: otis_spunkmeyer  | Date: 11/08/11 03:31:00 PM]
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2. 
I'm really wondering what their PR department was doing before since I have never heard of an advertisement or any sort of PR ever coming from AMD before.
4 0 [Posted by: daneren2005  | Date: 11/07/11 04:19:49 PM]
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You're right. Bulldozer is a decent CPU, but it has a public perception problem(that Intel's minions invested a lot of effort creating). The media cuts Intel slack in the same places that they scrutinize AMD's claims, but AMD sits idly and lets it happen.

I'll gladly admit that AMD sucks donkey balls at PR. Their entire PR and Marketing departments should be fired.
5 1 [Posted by: otis_spunkmeyer  | Date: 11/07/11 04:44:19 PM]
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Other than VirtualExperienceRoom, but that was a few years back in H.Richard's era.
Marketing are definitely useless people.
0 1 [Posted by: Azazel  | Date: 11/07/11 07:58:43 PM]
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3. 
develop "low-power micro-architecture code-named Bobcat" to compete with Atom?

AMD gave up on high end chip?
1 2 [Posted by: Tukee44  | Date: 11/07/11 07:56:44 PM]
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If I were in Read's position, I would do the same to use the Bobcat core. Then take the Bobcat core and change it for performance/main stream processor. The Bobcat core is lesser version of the Bulldozer core that should be easier to enhance. Probably, this is not going to be Read's plan for AMD.

AMD needs to change its arrogant thinking and use their engineers to design processors by hand instead hiring monkeys to manage software to design processors. Though it seems ARM is planning to play the same monkey business.
1 0 [Posted by: tecknurd  | Date: 11/07/11 10:00:44 PM]
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Looks like it. AMD hasn't been able to compete at the high end in recent years, but its APU's have had some success. Most people don't need a huge amount of processing power, so well rounded low end APU's should continue to be successful.

I'm hoping that AMD includes its new video compression engine (promised for Trinity) in Deccan as well. Four Bobcat cores (or even two faster ones) plus hardware encode assist will make for a great media APU and generally attractive APU for everyday use.
0 1 [Posted by: ET3D  | Date: 11/07/11 10:36:35 PM]
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Llano processors works well in notebooks, but what is funny is that the Llano mobile is faster than Llano for desktops. AMD should just use only the FS1, Llano mobile socket, for desktops. If they did this, AMD will have better sales for Llano desktops than now. Also AMD does not need to keep two sets of Llano processors in warehouse when only mobile processors are used for both notebooks and desktops. A 35 watt TDP and 45 watt TDP are good selling points, but AMD did not care.

I doubt Trinity will be good and waiting for it to come for better UVD performance is not a good idea. A better idea is buy a high end video card to encode video. Studios or professionals already uses video cards to encode video.
0 0 [Posted by: tecknurd  | Date: 11/08/11 04:10:36 PM]
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4. 
... even with dramatically reduced workforce.

Do you know that in Q1-2011 AMD had ~11000 people, and as of Oct,1 it had already 12019 on their payroll?
1 1 [Posted by: Azazel  | Date: 11/07/11 08:01:26 PM]
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Source of the information, please?

Did you know that back in late-2005 AMD had 9860 employees, whereas ATI had 3400? They somehow managed to get this number together to 16 500 by late-2006. In any case, ~13 200 seems to be a fair number for AMD to deliver successful products for CPU and GPU fields.

The obvious issue is that AMD now has to deliver APUs (based on two separate micro-architectures), CPUs (based on two separate micro-architectures), GPUs (I'd suspect an addition of the second major low-power architecture or spin-off architecture here) and with only around ~10 000 of employees.
2 0 [Posted by: Anton  | Date: 11/08/11 09:01:51 AM]
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5. 
There is something vague, Attacking but giving up on high-end x86 processors or just stick with low-end?
Attacking what? correct me please
0 1 [Posted by: Pouria  | Date: 11/08/11 06:13:21 AM]
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AMD has already given up high-end and servers.
Opterons brought a mere 100M$ in Q3, and very likely they will much less in Q4 after Zambezi fiasco.
BTW, there is no any sign of Opterons 62xx still. AMD is afraid to publish Opteron Spec benchmarks.
0 2 [Posted by: Azazel  | Date: 11/08/11 09:08:28 AM]
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there aren't server bulldozers benchmarks out yet. and buldozer won all high mt benchmarks. thecashe might be as fast as the desktop counter part but the cores are clocked lower. so we shall see how good it is for the server market.
0 0 [Posted by: massau  | Date: 11/08/11 09:51:13 AM]
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It will not be going up against a 4 core chip in the server arena. It stands no chance whatsoever.
0 0 [Posted by: GreenChile  | Date: 11/09/11 05:44:59 PM]
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6. 
Don't forget about the massive lay offs Intel has already done since the start of the recession. The fact that it is in the marketing division though, does not surprise me. Seriously who here has seen an AMD commercial.. ever? Even when they were dominating Intel on performance.
2 0 [Posted by: dkozicki  | Date: 11/08/11 08:41:27 AM]
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The recession started in 2008. In 2008 Intel had around 80,000 employees worldwide. Today Intel employs over 100,000 people worldwide. Massive layoffs indeed!
0 0 [Posted by: GreenChile  | Date: 11/09/11 05:48:40 PM]
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7. 
When AMD fires 1000-1500 people it's "massive" but when Intel fires 5,000 people at a pop, it's just another day at the office.

I wonder how many times Anton can use the words "massive layoffs" in an AMD article? As usual Anton is bias and has a double standard. Hating never changes anything Anton. You should know that by now.
5 2 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 11/08/11 09:02:38 AM]
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0 4 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 11/08/11 10:11:47 AM]
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I plan to stay here to correct the bias and hatred spewed by some technically and socially challenged people.
5 3 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 11/08/11 11:49:00 AM]
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well you're not doing any of that because i'm willing to bet the vast majority of people just skip over your rants.
0 2 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 11/08/11 01:28:20 PM]
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I read his rants! Actually, I do find X-Bit somewhat pro-Intel, too, but not so much that I can't stand it.
1 1 [Posted by: anubis44  | Date: 11/08/11 10:00:54 PM]
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I plan to stay here to correct the bias and hatred spewed by some technically and socially challenged people.


+1
2 1 [Posted by: Pouria  | Date: 11/08/11 01:38:03 PM]
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Keep on fighting the good fight, brother.
1 1 [Posted by: otis_spunkmeyer  | Date: 11/08/11 03:26:01 PM]
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1 5 [Posted by: dudde  | Date: 11/08/11 12:46:18 PM]
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dud-As I told you before, you should seek professional help for your personal problems. Bashing people isn't going to make reality change or your personal problems disappear.
3 4 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 11/08/11 02:55:01 PM]
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0 3 [Posted by: dudde  | Date: 11/08/11 08:15:17 PM]
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Chances are he is one of the 10% that just got a pink slip.
1 0 [Posted by: GreenChile  | Date: 11/09/11 05:51:09 PM]
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If we are talking percentage 15 percent layoff are big if you have 11K Workforce.

US. has problem on unemployment. any company today saying Layoff is a big issue. and big issue on those family who lost their Jobs.

Its Just AMD has bad timing Laying off their Employees when they didn't offer best result on Bulldozer's Release.
0 0 [Posted by: xentar  | Date: 11/08/11 06:26:35 PM]
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If we are talking percentage 15 percent layoff are big if you have 11K Workforce.

US. has problem on unemployment. any company today saying Layoff is a big issue. and big issue on those people who lost their Jobs
0 1 [Posted by: xentar  | Date: 11/08/11 06:50:06 PM]
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The lost jobs are worldwide not just in the U.S. but it's still a tough deal for all parties.
1 3 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 11/08/11 07:13:25 PM]
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