I can't say this is an expected piece of news at all - although AMD seem to have been on a more even keel of late, it appears that this still wasn't enough for the company's board of directors, with a difference of opinion forcing Dirk Meyer out of the CEO's chair.
AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Senior Vice President and CFO Thomas Seifert, 47, as interim CEO following the resignation of Dirk Meyer, 49, as president, CEO and a director of the company effective immediately.
A CEO Search Committee has been formed to begin the search for a new CEO. The Committee is led by Bruce Claflin, Chairman of AMD's Board of Directors, who has been named Executive Chairman of the Board as he assumes additional oversight responsibilities during the transition period. Seifert will maintain his current responsibilities as CFO and has asked not to be considered for the permanent CEO position.
"Dirk became CEO during difficult times. He successfully stabilized AMD while simultaneously concluding strategic initiatives including the launch of GLOBALFOUNDRIES, the successful settlement of our litigation with Intel and delivering Fusion APUs to the market," said Claflin.
"However, the Board believes we have the opportunity to create increased shareholder value over time. This will require the company to have significant growth, establish market leadership and generate superior financial returns. We believe a change in leadership at this time will accelerate the company's ability to accomplish these objectives."
You can find AMD's full press release here, while Bloomberg discusses exactly what the company will be looking for from its next CEO:
Under Meyer, directors were frustrated with AMD’s lack of progress in gaining market share and entering the tablet- computer industry, according to people familiar with the board’s deliberations. The company announced yesterday that Meyer has resigned and that it’s formed a committee to find successor.
“They need a visionary,” said Hans Mosesmann, an analyst at Raymond James & Associates in St. Petersburg, Florida. He has a “market perform” rating on AMD stock. “They need someone who has the passion to disrupt the market.”
The next CEO will continue a 40-year struggle to escape from the shadow of Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker. AMD has less than 20 percent of the global personal-computer processor market, compared with Intel’s 80 percent, and its revenue in 2009 of $5.4 billion was a seventh of Intel’s.