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AMD reshuffles EMEA looking for winning hand

Rumours off the grapevine this morning indicate a big set of changes down at AMD, with the new Chief Sales Officer determined to put the company on the right track in the face of the toughest market conditions the chip specialists have ever faced. KitGuru stands around the mini-kitchenette and ponders who have a seat at the table come lunchtime.

So what do we know so far?

Well, Darren Grasby has been put in overall charge of EMEA and it now seems that Bertrand Coquard will be moving from his position as Channel Sales Director.

Getting the right person into the EMEA Sales Director role will be crucial for AMD in terms of hitting targets. The region is diverse, with small expensive markets sitting right next door to massive opportunities which could be a lot easier to exploit.

If you ignore graphics for a second, winning with channel sales means putting your processors and mainboards into resellers and high street stores. The big multi-national vendors are taken care of through a different route. Which brings you to the question, “Who would buy a processor and mainboard from an online store or specialist high street shop?”

Most of these customers will be enthusiasts, but there will also be a chunk of budget conscious customers who ‘want more than PC World/Media Markt etc can offer’. So, for AMD, that means selling 9xx series mainboards with overclockable FX processors to those i the know and APU (Fusion) products to those on a budget.

Right now, we’d argue that AMD has the wrong focus for FX processors. Highly overclockable, our tests have shown that if paired with a cost-effective mainboard, you can go after most of Intel’s Core i3 and part of its Core i5 range with a great deal of confidence. But when you approach £250 for the CPU and mainboard, you enter Intel ‘K’ territory and winning becomes much more difficult.

The person AMD brings into EMEA to drive sales forward for the next 3 years, needs to be smart enough to line the product stacks up properly. They need to be able to jab and move while looking for a win, then bring 100% conviction to the table when they have the advantage. Not easy. And all of this will need to be achieved under the incredible heat of a global media spotlight.

In the same way that top football teams appoint a ‘safe pair of hands’ to look after teams and countries in the interim, AMD would seem to have handed the European Sales role to Andrew Buxton while they try to recruit ‘Mr Right’. Check KitGuru’s coverage of Distree 2012 for shots of Buxton and one of the people likely to play a key role in the new regime, Neil Spicer.

As an ex-professional class rugby player, Darren Grasby is used to tough scrums.

KitGuru says: We all know that AMD can hold its own against nVidia in the graphics market, for while nVidia will have the lead for some of each year, AMD comes back into the frame with its own next-gen releases. The CPU market is much tougher. Winning market share from Intel in 2013, with low-powered Haswell’s coming, will need something special in terms of deals & drive. The channel win, surely, must be in the APU zone.

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