I was wondering when I would write my first blog post, and I never knew that I would start with a posting on Dirk Meyer’s resignation.

(Disclaimer: I have a tiny bit of share in AMD and I am seriously pissed at the free-falling stock price after Dirk Meyer’s resignation)

I wasn’t upset just because the stock price was going down, but mainly because I thought highly of him for two reasons. First, he is a real tech guy. He spent years at DEC, which was one of the hottest tech companies back in the days (maybe Facebook right now), then came to AMD and led to Opteron server processor that actually took away market share from Intel. He is basically THE EXPERT on microprocessor design. Second reason I like him is that he spent 15 years at AMD. He’s not some CEO who was recruited from another company to do what’s good for the short-term stock price instead of what’s good for the company long-term. He was beefing up fundamental research capabilities at AMD while successfully launching products that were being delayed forever.

So why is the board firing him? Have they already forgot how bad Hector Ruiz messed up the whole company (After stepping down, he even got investigated for insider trading) ? Do they really believe they can find someone better than him? There are several guesses floating around the web.

The board wanted to sell AMD to ATIC, but Dirk Meyer strongly resisted.
This wild guess was posted on Anandtech. The guess is that since the resignation was so abrupt even without any transition period for the new CEO, there should be something really substantial that the board and Dirk Meyer disagreed on. ATIC invested heavily in Global Foundries and is still looking for technologies to invest in, so it could be that they are looking into buying AMD.

The board felt Dirk Meyer was too slow getting into the mobile/tablet market
It would have been perfect if AMD had predicted the rise of tablets 2-3 years ago and prepared for such event. However, this is asking AMD to be perfect. We should remember just two years back, AMD was burning cash while going through endless delays in their laptop, PC and server processor designs. They didn’t have the resources to expand into mobile processor markets, let alone maintain their share in existing PC and server markets. Blaming Dirk Meyer for not entering the mobile market early enough is just BS. It’s almost like blaming an officer for not winning the battle after the officer had successfully led his troops out of a dangerous situation where he was totally outnumbered by the enemy. AMD had very limited resources and it was the right decision to focus on getting the Fusion processors (that was delayed for years) out on the market as soon as possible. AMD is not Intel and they can’t dip their toes in every single market. I agree with Dirk Meyer’s decision that the margin was too low in mobile processors for AMD to devote resources from their already limited pool.

It seems they will look for a new CEO for the next several weeks. Maybe some executive from Intel? (I hope they don’t bring someone like Michael Fister, ex-Intel exec who was brought into Cadence to save the company only to mess it up even further) Hope they can find someone who has a long-term vision of where AMD and processor design should head for.