AMD versus Intel Redux

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on August 22, 2007

It’s no secret that Intel has been trying to put a world of hurt on rival Advanced Micro Devices. Is AMD marketing and sales czar the latest casualty?
News that the outspoken Henri Richard is “departing of his own accord,” according to an AMD statement, does little to quell speculation that the smaller chipmaker may have seen its best days gone by. Richard, known for his great one-liners and promises of utter annihilation of the competition, was the man in charge of actually translating AMD’s chip advancements into real-world profits.
That hasn’t been as easy as making noise. Despite the company’s best efforts, with the addition of Dell and other top pc makers to its lineup, it’s been having a tough go making headway against Intel. The company’s second quarter earnings staged a bit of a comeback following weakness in earlier quarters, but part of that may be attributed to surprising sales strength in the low-end desktop pc market, where profits can be fleeting.
AMD CEO Hector Ruiz at a dinner recently predicted the chipmaker’s new server and notebook chip platforms will put the company back in the race, so it seems an odd time for Richard’s departure.
AMD says the sales and marketing organization will now report directly to the CEO. Will the closer ties be enough?

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Reader Comments

jlc

August 23, 2007 03:11 AM

AMD dose need a new marketing guy to lead a war with INTC. This role has to battle with INTC in every direction and level. I see this change as a good and positive move.

AMD

August 23, 2007 06:04 AM

The struggle against Intel is killing them one by one. Fresh blood is not a bad thing IMHO. We need killers now in order to put the company back on track.

Jim

August 23, 2007 12:52 PM

The problem is AMD wanted to "beat" Intel more than it wanted to build a solid and profitable business. Rather than focus on high-end and high-performance products (Opteron) AMD chased every market ( eg. the low/no profit Dell business).

Given the stunning fixed costs of microprocessor manufacturing, why waste wafers and fab capacity producing low-end products? Intel can do this because of its world-class manufacturing skills, global fabrication capacity and lower per-chip costs.

AMD had their chance and blew it.

Me

August 23, 2007 02:52 PM

I don't see his departure as a great deal.

In my personal opinion, this guy didn't do his job the way it should be done.
When K8 was beating the P4, this guy wasn't advertising the wonders that this processor had at that time.

AMD needs a good marketing department that can make justice to AMD's offerings.

Adey

August 23, 2007 04:20 PM

AMD deserve the strongest kicking. Their technology was for a very short time while Intel looked the other way worth buying... during this time they did everything they could to take MSS. Now that they have been put back in their box and forced to the entry level ASP they cry fowl... but but we don't have fair competition... but but they paid OEMs not to take our product... but but... STFU. AMD products get killed by mid-range Core technology and even if they got the OEM contracts they can't ramp up the fabs to meet demand. Barcelona - what a joke. ATI GPU - what a joke.

amdnoprofits

August 24, 2007 01:04 AM

AMD got what it deserved.

It tried to compete in the court of public opinion. Rather than waste its money in waging public campaings and bogus paid-for studies to tarnish Intel's brand, AMD should have hunkered down and focused on delivering innovative and differentiated products. They are, unfortunately, day late, dollar short (dare I say billions short?) and need to restructure badly.

Sadly, the executives will find new jobs in other places as the inevitable blame game and jockeying for position within the executive office shakes out. The bread and butter employees at AMD wil suffer the ultimate consequences.

AMD must downsize just like Intel had to last year.

Soggie

August 24, 2007 12:28 PM

What's with the hate? Flame bait anyone?

John Doe and you have been competing in track and field in the last 20 years. 10 Years ago, John Doe knee caps you to so you can't compete against him. You couldn't even limp to the court house much less afford the lawyers to sue him. Now you are back on your feet competing against him, abiet with less success than you'd like. This may or may not have anything to do with getting kneecapped 10 years ago but you decide to sue him anyway cause you feel you deserve some compensation. As you head to the court house, in walks Joe Schmo screaming obscenities at you telling you what a loser you are for suing John Doe cause you can't beat him in the competition. What are you to think?

Darrell Johnson

August 24, 2007 10:36 PM

Put back AMD back in the race?

What they need is a Barcelona Chip at promised frequencies close to 3.0 ghz.

I seriously don't understand why they seek the budget processor path with low margins, when everyone knows they need the high margin high end market to survive.

IBM got out of the Desktop market for a reason. Which brings up another question.

If 65nm and 45nm is co-researched with IBM, then why are their Transistor Gates so leaky and giving AMD manufacturing trouble? Sounds like IBM has the can openers and Intel has the Ferraris.

JC

September 8, 2007 12:02 AM

Flame bait? Sure is. Ignorance and pride usually walk hand in hand.

Court of "public opinion"? You mean all those nifty commercials (Hewlett-Packard, Dell, etc.)that everyone sees on TV with the cute little Intel jingle on the end of every one? No wonder they only think Intel = a PC. Gosh gee wiz!

When I look back over ten, twenty or (God forbid), thirty years ... I see the gross subversion of the original Anti-Trust laws our country put into place to stop all the robber barron scumbags who monopolized the steel, railroad and other industries. If you can't see the obvious right in front of your face, then you are beyond help. Good competition is good for us all. Intel needs to bleed ... a lot (more). Go AMD, Go!

jon-jon

September 28, 2007 02:21 AM

amd and intel corporation are so close in building a processor in its features,price and performance its good enough to say that they are big corporation and good builders

Dominic Casey

October 5, 2007 11:13 PM

I believe we will all see more blood shed when AMD eventually offers the products they have promissed us all. Intel is dishing their expected pressure as they always have and AMD keep nudging forward as they always have.

I think new marketing blood is desperately needed at AMD. Intel has that part of their business in their hip pocket and almost don't need to do anything but fan the flames of success. Everyone on the planet, even those w/o PC's, knows something about Intel.

Let's be honest people, we all want and need competition- it's what makes our country so great! Without we will certainly be at a loss. Long live competition- long live AMD!

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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