Feeds

AMD thanks Ruiz for courageous ability to lose money

Heck of a job, Hector. We'll keep it up!

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Comment Normally, a succession plan is a good thing. You want the new CEO to slide into the old CEO's chair with an ease that says, "Our asses were molded by the same country club rib eyes and crème brûlées. Everything is under control."

Yesterday, though, AMD could have done with some unforeseen CEO-swapping spatter. It should have blown the succession idea to bits. Maybe then the public could take claims of cultural and procedural change with some semblance of sincerity.

Rather than bombing its succession plan, AMD simply blew another quarter. A $1.19bn loss arrived on the back of $880m in charges tied to ATI - that company AMD acquired for, oh, about $2.5bn too much. When added to the disastrous Barcelona delay debacle, this miserable quarter and AMD's blunder with ATI were enough to push Hector Ruiz out of the CEO spot and into the, um, Executive Chairman position.

AMD means business, investors. Just not the kind of business you think of as business. This is more like charity where plush leather chairs turn into super plush leather chairs.

Now Ruiz's hand-picked successor Dirk Meyer will take the long walk from the president's office to the CEO's office. The really nice thing about this transition is that Meyer can skip the briefings about how bad AMD has done over the past couple of years. Having been second in command, he knows the whole story.

A Brave Loser

During yesterday's second quarter confessional, Meyer sent Ruiz off with a few kind words.

"You courageously launched a global initiative for fair and open competition," he said, referring to the anti-trust lawsuit against Intel. "A battle we are winning for the benefit of the industry and consumers everywhere."

That's a helluva pep talk, general. We're reminded of the Grim War where Tasmania beat China into submission by constantly sinking its own boats.

There's one thing Ruiz is not and that's courageous.

He never had the guts to face The Register during his entire tenure as CEO. Apparently, we were never allowed to approach Ruiz because AMD executives found your reporter too abrasive. And yet Intel's brass - they of the Itanic - can face the challenge.

Ruiz also never had the guts to explain why AMD refused to sponsor golf tournaments.

Far more seriously, Ruiz has always seemed incapable of having the courage to own up to his failings.

The company veered toward flat out lying during the Barcelona mess, constantly promising the chip was just around the corner and that it would smash Intel when it shipped. The line sounded worse and worse as the months passed by and then, when AMD finally released the chip, it was a buggy disaster.

With regard to ATI, AMD has confessed to overpayment. The company may as well have confessed to making processors because everyone outside of AMD's executive inner-circle already knew it had plumped too far for ATI. Worst of all, AMD saddled itself with debt and a complex marriage just when it needed to be lean and mean.

Now AMD is off-loading the handheld and TV chip businesses inherited through ATI after already ridding AMD of its money-losing memory business via the Spansion spin-off.

Add up all of Ruiz's moves, and you're left with a $6.3bn loss during his time at the company - or at least what's left of it.

So, Ruiz is great at getting rid of everything besides himself.

Stepping up to accept these failures would have been really courageous. (My lord, what spectacular guts of his own Meyer showed just to liken suing Intel to a real battle. Would anyone in their right mind suggest Microsoft, for example, is courageous by lobbing anti-trust accusations at Google?)

Maybe AMD's board could have one-upped both Ruiz and Meyer with courage of the greatest proportions and picked someone not tied to the billions in losses as chief. Ah, but why bother with gravitas and tough decisions when you can put the same old Fail in the chair. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
Seagate's triple-headed Cerberus could SAVE the DISK WORLD
... and possibly bring us even more HAMR time. Yay!
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.