AMD appoints ex-Lenovo head as new CEO

Rory Read

New AMD CEO Rory Read

AMD‘s search for a new captain of the ship is over. The company has hired former Lenovo head Rory Read to fill the shoes of president and CEO as the semiconductor manufacturer looks to future growth and continuing to build on what executives called a solid foundation.

Read joins the AMD after a five-year tenure at Lenovo, where he was most recently the president and COO of Lenovo Group. Prior to that, Read was a long-time IBM employee, with 23 years under his belt at Big Blue. With a track record of growing revenue at both IBM and Lenovo, Read exited Lenovo after shortly after the company had announced its seventh straight quarter as the fastest-growing PC manufacturer in the world.

“Rory Read has made a significant contribution to our success during his time as president and COO at Lenovo. His selection as CEO of AMD is a great reflection of the way the industry views Lenovo’s talent and our performance,” said Yuanqing Yang, CEO of Lenovo, in a statement.

With Read taking over the AMD ship, Bruce Claflin is relinquising his role as executive chairman role and becoming chairman of the board of directors. Additionally, interim CEO Thomas Seifert will return to his former position as senior vice president and CFO of AMD.

“Rory is a proven leader with a impressive record of driving profitable growth,” Claflin said in a statement. “He is ideally suited to accelerate AMD’s evolution into the world’s leading semiconductor design company. As president and COO of Lenovo, he helped take the company into dynamic new markets while growing market share and expanding profitability. His sound strategic thinking and natural customer orientation will help amplify the voice of the customer inside AMD.”

In a call with media and analysts, Read said he decided to join AMD because of the company’s unique position in the market, its technology, its team and its potential.

“There’s outstanding potential here. There’s growth in our core business,” Read said.

He also noted that there is a lot of room for AMD to grow in the cloud computing realm, specifically with AMD’s Bulldozer processor.

“I want to grow AMD’s influence and footprint. We need to continue to attract the best and brightest people in the processing industry right here to AMD,” Read said.

Commenting that he sees a “unique set of opportunities” that are also shared by many of the company’s partners and customers, Read didn’t talk much about his priorities and strategy going forward. He did say that any AMD strategy going forward would have to be balanced with a focus on core business areas.

“It’s really about balance, both short-term and long-term, and making sure we’re driving profit and investmsent in a balanced way,” Read said.

As Read settles into his new role, his first 30 days as the new president and CEO will be spent building an understanding of AMD’s business, customers and partners. After he’s established that understanding, Read’s comments indicated he’d be staying the course that AMD has already set and building on that.

“We’re building the foundation and momentum. What we need to do in that first 100 days is build on it and continue to grow,” Read said.