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Will AMD be RIVETed in 2011 ?

Following on from KitGuru’s exclusive revelation that there will be a change in leadership at AMD for 2011, a whole heap of new questions now have to be asked. The most important one of which must be, “Who will captain the good ship AMD into the competitive waters of the new year ?”… KitGuru sets its rumour tentacles to ‘stun’ and begins probing for the truth.

For several generations, AMD has operated like an olde worlde European royal family. Succession has passed to the person previously voted ‘Most likely to succeed’. Some question whether that strategy has worked.

That said, maybe there’s a limit to the number of times you can play it safe. Sometimes you need to branch out and get an injection from a fresh gene pool, if you really want to improve your chances of success.

There are a number of options for the board, but here are some of the internal front runners in a simple line-up.

Technically, Robert Rivet is next in line to the throne. He was a senior VP and in charge of the money at the company that became Freescale ($8Bn and 34,000 employees). That means he’s been ‘near the top’ at a company that was (then) bigger than AMD is now. We’re thinking ‘money man’.

Behind door number two we have Emilio Ghilardi, who previously spent 25 years with HP. He’s been running sales at AMD for the past 2 years and, if rumours/back-of-the-envelope calculations are to be believed, is about to deliver the biggest revenue figure in AMD’s history, at close to $7Bn. We’re thinking ’till ringer’.

Third possibility is IBM, S3 and ATI veteran, Rick Bergman. An engineer by trade who picked up his MBA and a career course change later, Rick’s role within the new AMD seems to have been getting the business units to do what they’d said they would do and then delivering the product to customers. We’re thinking ‘oil in the machine’.

Robert Rivet, Emilio Ghilardi and Rick Bergman are three possible successors from AMD's existing senior line-up. But maybe the board will decide that these guys are needed where they are, and look outside the box.

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Looking at the financials, AMD has been in a latent state for a long time. The figures everyone is expecting for 2010 are likely to be way above anything that the company has every experienced before. That happened while Dirk was at the helm.

That said, the next stage in AMD’s development is a big one. Last time KitGuru looked, the threshold for Fortune 500 status is a little over $12Bn. If 2010 puts AMD over the half way mark, who would be the best person to take the company down the back straight?

You can see a full set of AMD senior folk here.

KitGuru says: Without doubt, this is one of the most exciting developments in the IT market for some time. We’ll be watching closely over the next few days to see what really transpires and who will be handed control. We’re not the only ones. If AMD was a TV channel, then you can be sure that they’d have tens of thousands of eager viewers glued to the screen at Intel and nVidia’s headquarters.Ultimately, they need someone pretty spectacular to lead them into the Fortune 500, but who will it be ?

Comments below or in the KitGuru forum. Who will be in charge of AMD for 2011 ?

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