October 10, 2014

AMD Hires First Female CEO. We Should Have Seen It Coming...

When AMD in 2008 sold its chip fabrication facilities, it should have been a signal that the company would one day be a woman-led organization, said Todd Swank, senior director of product marketing at Equus Computer Systems, a Minneapolis-based custom system builder and AMD partner. 

"Back about 1993 or 1994, Jerry Sanders, the AMD CEO at the time, said, 'Real men have fabs,'" Swank told CRN. "Now AMD doesn't have a fab." 

AMD still presents a lot of opportunities in areas such as servers and the cloud, Swank said. However, it is operating in a very different world from the 2000s when it actually led arch-rival Intel in terms of technology, he said. 

"Back then, we were booming with AMD," he said. "It was very relevant to the industry." 

However, that is changing as the processor industry changes, Swank said. "Today, it's less Intel vs. AMD and more Intel vs. ARM," he said. 

"Now AMD has an ARM line, but that puts the company in competition with a lot of smaller developers." 

Dominic Daninger, vice president of engineering at Nor-Tech, a Burnsville, Minn.-based custom system builder, said his company is in a wait-and-see mode with AMD. 

Both Daninger and Swank said AMD has made serious cutbacks in field and sales reps in their geography which has resulted in less contact between them and the vendor. 

"We've seen a drop in field engineers and sales reps, probably the result of a lot of attrition," Daninger told CRN. 

"We're a little in a vacuum with AMD due to the lack of people." 

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