“Technology leadership is all about understanding where the market will go next”, claims AMD Chief Sales Officer, John Byrne. “It’s about predicting the future”. KitGuru was fortunate enough to catch up with AMD’s CSO – the driving force behind AMD’s recent sales resurgence. This interview gave us a unique and interesting perspective on how AMD sees itself in 2014 and how it aims to position itself for the future.
When Rory Read took over at AMD, as reported by KitGuru in August 2011, wholesale changes were not far behind.
Those changes started right at the very top – with the board.
Read brought together several key people, including:-
- Dr Lisa Su
In from Freescale to head up the global Business Units.
- Mark Papermaster
Joined as CTO following successful spells at Apple and Cisco.
- Colette LaForce
Brought in from Dell to take responsibility for marketing and – most importantly – the corporation’s brand management/thought leadership.
- Devinder Kumar
Another crucial part of Rory’s new team was the positioning of someone who already had 30 years’ experience understanding how the money moves in, around and out of AMD. Devinder was made Chief Financial Officer to help ensure the most important beans stay counted.
Completing the line-up was the addition of John Byrne, to fire up AMD’s global sales effort and make sure that the all-important cash starts to flow through the business.
No matter how well organised a corporation is, it means nothing without sales. When executed properly, it is the ability to sell what you have in your inventory right now, as well as setting up orders far into the future – for what your engineering teams will be developing tomorrow.
“When we took over as a leadership team”, explained Byrne, “AMD was generating 95% of its revenue from the classic PC markets and that was a dangerous place to be”.
“By the end of 2013, that was below 80% and by 2015, approximately half of our revenue will be from growth markets”, said Byrne. “We must and will continue to attack the growth markets we have identified”.
Byrne specifically outlines these high-growth markets as semi-custom, embedded, dense server, professional graphics and ultra-low power client.
Positive words. But let’s go deeper.