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CFO Seifert finds AMD's executive exit door, walks through it

Yet another leadership transition for Intel's only ARMless competitor

The personnel changes in AMD's executive suites continue with the resignation of the company's CFO, Thomas Seifert, on Monday.

"Seifert's departure is not based on any disagreement over the company's accounting principles or practices, or financial statement disclosures," the company assured investors in a statement announcing Seifert's departure to "pursue other opportunities."

Assurances aside, AMD's stock was down nearly 13 per cent in after-hours trading following the announcement.

Seifert joined AMD in 2009, and handled the company's CEO duties in the interim between the departure of then-CEO Dirk Meyer in January 2011 and the arrival of Rory Read, former Lenovo COO, as the company's new president and CEO that August.

Meyer, by the way, was followed out the door in February 2011 by chief operations and administrative officer Robert Rivet and corporate strategist Marty Seyer.

Other changes followed. The general manager of AMD's Product Group, Rick Bergman, left in September to "pursue a new opportunity," IBM/Apple/Cisco wanderer Mark Papermaster joined AMD as CTO the following month, and head marketeer and ex-Sunner Nigel Dessau found the exit two days before last Christmas.

Also in December, Read hired Lisa Su, late of IBM and Freescale, to head up AMD's then-new Global Business Units division, and in January of this year he recruited Rajan Naik away from his management consultancy gig at McKinsey & Co. to be his new corporate strategist.

Read's most recent hire – at least at the loftier levels of AMD's engineering hierarchy – was Jim Keller, who he snatched from Apple to be the chief architect of AMD's microprocessor cores, working under Papermaster.

And now CFO Siefert is gone, to be replaced on an interim basis by Devinder Kumar, who is currently AMD's corporate controller and a 28-year veteran of the last surviving Intel competitor.

One Reg hack reported hearing rumblings among some chipheads at the recently concluded Intel Developer Forum that Seifert was holding AMD back, and that unless he left, the company would remain stalled.

We'll now watch to see if they were right, and if the good ship AMD can continue to right itself. ®

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