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Advanced Micro Devices’ recently appointed chief executive officer Rory Read on Wednesday addressed the company’s staff using a webcast. It is believed that during the conference via the Internet the head of the company explained the employees the chip designer’s new strategy and tactics. Unfortunately, the webcast was not made public and its contents will remain secret for around three months.

“Today's meeting is an employee meeting, so no, there is no external webcast. You should look ahead towards our Financial Analyst Day event in February, 2012, [for disclosure],” said Michael Silverman, a spokesman for AMD.

It is widely believed that Rory Read wants to refocus AMD onto more consumer oriented products. As a part of the new strategy, the low-power Bobcat micro-architecture and products on its base will play a very important role in future of the company. It is completely unclear what the company will attempt to do with its high-end architectures in the future. Nonetheless, it is unlikely that AMD has already set a new roadmap for the forthcoming years.

The company’s new strategy and tactics is called “Project WIN”, but the latter word is not an abbreviate for something like Winning In the New world, but is “simply an internal term/brand to describe the operational efficiencies” that the company “has addressed on the last several earnings calls”, according to an official statement. The latter fact means that the Win was not entirely architected by Rory Read, but also by the board of directors and certain executives (probably those, who were not fired during the recent layoffs). The key pillars of the recent initiatives of AMD are growing revenue, lowering costs and reducing time-to-market.

Last week AMD fired from 10% to 15% of its staff in order to reduce costs, something that was unnecessary according to many analysts. The company cut the staff across the board and fired particularly loads of marketing and public relations specialists, which will reduce the chip designer’s ability to communicate with the outside world on daily basis.

Just a little after the merger between AMD and ATI Technologies, AMD’s headcount was 16500 (of which around 2800 were employed at the fabs in Dresden, Germany), which means that the company needs headcount of around 13700 in order to create and sell leading-edge accelerated processing units, central processing units and graphics processing units. Meanwhile, the company now has less or around 10 000 people, which may simply be not enough to deliver quality products in time. For example, AMD’s latest Bulldozer micro-architecture was two years late and failed to impress the reviewers.

What was said today by Rory Read will be partially revealed earlier than in three months from now. However, it is clear that the company hardly made any massive announcements today, e.g., adopt ARM architecture and start developing chips for smartphones. Nonetheless, it is clear that AMD will never be the same as before.

Tags: AMD, ATI, Bulldozer, Bobcat, Business

Discussion

Comments currently: 16
Discussion started: 11/09/11 01:49:47 PM
Latest comment: 11/15/11 02:15:03 AM
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1. 
Project WIN: FOR THE LULZ AND FOR THE WINRAR.
4 2 [Posted by: Filiprino  | Date: 11/09/11 01:49:47 PM]
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2. 
Just a little after the merger between AMD and ATI Technologies, AMD’s headcount was 16500 (of which around 2800 were employed at the fabs in Dresden, Germany), which means that the company needs headcount of around 13700 in order to create and sell leading-edge accelerated processing units, central processing units and graphics processing units. Meanwhile, the company now has less or around 10 000 people, which may simply be not enough to deliver quality products in time.


A companies intellectual property, and their ability to generate value for said company has nothing to do with the amount of heads on the AMD payroll. Saying if a companies workforce had 3000 more people they would magically be able to deliver quality products in time is just stupid. Business strategy modifications/streamlining of the business model WILL make any company more agile. Many times change is surrounded by getting rid of the chaff that is slowing you down(aka layoffs) with the hopes the end result will be a lean money making machine.
2 1 [Posted by: veli05  | Date: 11/09/11 02:14:40 PM]
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You are right, but I would certainly feel "relieved" if there were "AMD is hiring engineers" in the news. We got news of layoffs over and over again (and from a lot of the ATI guys =/)

In an unrelated note, it would be a stupid move if AMD goes the way of ARM IMO.
2 0 [Posted by: sirroman  | Date: 11/09/11 03:11:45 PM]
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You can only utilize so many engineers at one time. Too many cooks in the kitchen just creates a clusterf*ck, more isn't necessarily better.

Funny you should mention ARM, because they do some serious electrical engineering for having so few employees.
1 0 [Posted by: otis_spunkmeyer  | Date: 11/09/11 03:23:03 PM]
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It's just my impression =). But maybe I'm just too emotional about all the ATI guys that were jumping ship (or getting booted, I don't know the specifics) all this time.

Seriously, I can't name an ATI executive that currently works at AMD anymore.
1 0 [Posted by: sirroman  | Date: 11/09/11 07:47:18 PM]
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ARM is in unique situation, actually. AMD is not.

Moreover, 1700+ people at ARM do not develop actual products. People at companies like Apple, Samsung, Nvidia, etc. do. Apple hires a thousand of chip engineers. Nvidia had 650+ early in 2010, so now it should be around 1000 as well and you have to remember that they develop graphics cores separately.
1 1 [Posted by: Anton  | Date: 11/11/11 01:59:16 AM]
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Things get more complex over time and Bulldozer has already demonstrated that AMD cannot deliver leading-edge CPU with fewer employees. Now AMD further reduces its capabilities when it comes to talent.
2 1 [Posted by: Anton  | Date: 11/11/11 01:51:00 AM]
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3. 
I am afraid that high end computing with Amd components will be a nice dream from now on..... I do hope i am terribly wrong tho.
1 0 [Posted by: george1976  | Date: 11/09/11 02:33:24 PM]
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AMD has a chance in the high end with phenom

they can just release phenom III with turbo core 3.0 and much improved IPC, have AES encryption, and use less power (or have higher frequencies) on a 22-28nm process

and they can beat intel but those managers just don't know what people want

they don't have to discontinue Phenom/Athlon in favor of Bulldozer/Fusion

they can continue on all products like intel, it has pentium/core/celeron/atom/xeon
2 2 [Posted by: madooo12  | Date: 11/10/11 04:37:27 AM]
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4. 
Funny you should mention ARM, because they do some serious electrical engineering for having so few employees


Not quite true. AMR has few engineers, but their licensees (Qualcom, TI, Samsung, etc) carrier a lot more heads to develop the chip. You need electrical designers, validation, testing, system designers, etc to develop the chip or it is just garbage.

AMR will have to make one tough choice, and put the ducks in a row. I said a row = one row.
0 0 [Posted by: Tukee44  | Date: 11/09/11 08:19:36 PM]
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AMR = Adaptive Multi-Rate audio codec (media format for audio in mobiles), the files encoded in AMR have small sizes and are more suitable for speech (Like MIDI (Music Instrument Digital Interface) but for sound)

ARM = Advanced RISC Machines is a Processor Architecture developed by ARM holdings known for simplicity, low power consumption but not as powerful as X86

ARM holdings does not produce ARM processors but it licenses it to companies like Nvidia, Apple, Texas instruments, ....
1 0 [Posted by: madooo12  | Date: 11/10/11 06:16:14 AM]
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5. 
Sure, Rory is a marketing guy. He'd better looked as a Head of Sell&Marketing than CEO.
3 1 [Posted by: Azazel  | Date: 11/09/11 09:24:41 PM]
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6. 
Well that's not changed then - AMD starts new vision with a 3 month delay.
2 0 [Posted by: Dribble  | Date: 11/10/11 01:54:12 AM]
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good point! - delay is part of their name and gameplan!
1 2 [Posted by: dudde  | Date: 11/10/11 06:53:29 AM]
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7. 
AMD doesn't need to compete with intel to be highly sucessful, they just need to develope other processing untis for other devices that are popular like tablets, smart phones, gps devices etc..
2 2 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 11/10/11 10:51:01 AM]
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that market is already very crowded and margins are low for just about everyone.
1 1 [Posted by: Countess  | Date: 11/15/11 02:15:03 AM]
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