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The secret of AMD’s recent success: An interview with John Byrne

At the end of 2008, AMD's share price was just under $1.82. At the time we sat down to write this article, they were trading at $9.18. You don't need a degree from the London School of Economics to see a 500% rise. There will have been lots of factors, but one is very hard to ignore – and that's the shake-up in personnel at the very top of the organisation. As Corporate Vice President, World Wide Sales, John Byrne's main responsibilities are channel sales and looking after small and medium sized businesses – as well as managing partner relationships with the major Taiwanese vendors. KitGuru caught up with Scotsman Byrne for an exclusive interview on how he sees AMD.

The biggest noise from AMD right now is all around Fusion. KitGuru's hearing a lot of different numbers. The question is, how can you get to the truth?  We needed access to a straight-talking Scot. Despite growing up around the corner from Douglas Park, John Byrne is a life-long Celtic fan. After driving graphics sales for nVidia for several years, he moved across to ATI in 2002. Four years ago, he joined AMD proper. Initially with responsibility for graphics – his duties have increased over time and John Byrne is now Corporate Vice President, worldwide channel sales, managing channel and SMB as well as the Taiwan Partner sales organisation.

AMD CVP John Byrne is very confident about the company's future

We decided to kick off our interview by asking Byrne how well the launch has really gone. Worth bearing in mind that companies like AMD often measure the success of a launch by how many ‘design wins' they get. For example, if HP or Dell agrees to create a new product with AMD Fusion, then that's considered a design win. The more design wins you have around a launch – the greater your sales will be further down the line.

“The launch of AMD's Fusion APUs at CES this year was accompanied by the announcement of more than 100 design wins for AMD Fusion based platforms”, declared Byrne.

By anyone's count, 100 different design wins is significant.

That should lead to a shift in power, from blue to green, in the mobile space.


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