back to article AMD's new CEO bobs, weaves, says 'big' and 'fast' are good

Rory Read spent his first morning as CEO of AMD – of any company, for that matter – performing a very CEO-like duty: dodging and deflecting questions about the company he now leads. In a conference call with analysts and reporters shortly after AMD announced his appointment on Thursday morning, Read was more intent on …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Like WTF?

    Ferchrissake it's his first day at a new job and you expect him to predict the future and know all there is to know about the company he just went to work for? How foolish of you.

    1. Not That Andrew

      No excuse

      If he couldn't handle softball questions like these, he shouldn't have given a press conference on his first day as CEO.

      1. David Dawson

        yeah, he's obviously shit

        Lets lynch him.

        Or, alternatively, give him few months to get some of his own ideas in and running and judge those.

        I'm torn, both have plus points

        1. Ilgaz

          One search

          Seek The Register stories using the term "Elop" and also check Nokia share price.

          That is what happens if you hire someone and wait to see what happens. Sometimes...

    2. weetabix


      If i get a job as a manager in my company, I'm expected to know a bit about the company. When you get hired as the CEO youd think youd come into the position having vigorously studied the company. Its not like he was literally hired yesterday. The contracts are executed weeks in advance.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Like WTF? #

      He's the CEO not the tea lady. Damn right he should be able to hit the floor running.

      Which is what he has done. AMD has no idea what to do next. His job is to hide this from the investors.

    4. Rex Alfie Lee

      He has to have had a vison to get the job...

      Basically what I said in the Title. An obvious point or he wouldn't get the job. Apart from that, knowing the board's direction & also how to dodge Qs...

  2. Ilgaz

    Faster isn't always better

    I have read this story on my outdated/abandoned Nokia E71 running an _underclocked_ ARM processor, using Opera Mobile.

    It wouldn't be different if I was using a quad core i7 or AMD whatever monster. It would be same page, same smooth scrolling and same graphics.

    Really, computing is changing and even MS, the "Win" in Wintel figured it. These guys (amd and intel) won't get it?

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Faster isn't always better

      Yes, now try reading a full-size spreadsheet, or a PDF, or edit a picture on your BB clone - doesn't work so well, does it? The much-hyped idea that smartphones have "changed the World" completely ignores the fact that they are limited media consumption devices at best - to actually produce, edit, publish and (for many medias such as documents) consume, you will still need desktops and servers with real CPU cores, and that's going to be x86 types from AMD and Intel for a long while yet because ARM CPUs just aren't up to the job.

      1. Ilgaz

        since 7650

        I am using BB clones running a real operating system without artificially limited features since Nokia 7650 and never claimed they can replace a PC or even a Mac.

        The paradigm has finally changed and we are moving to things which were envisioned by couple of dreamers in 1960s. X86 compatibility by a cloner (they had to) X86 manufacturer with decades of expertise is not something market dictates.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Marketing, marketing, marketing

    OK - 6, 7, 8 Ps or whatever

    When Intel spends millions on marketing - TV, print etc. - then the public is convinced that nothing other than an Intel processor will do. AMD will always command lower margins if the public are convinced their products are second rate - no matter what the actual facts are (how many people buying a laptop have read a full review of the products in PcPRO, El Reg or other sites ?).

    Could AMD buy ARM ?

    1. jason 7

      Spot on!

      I am amazed that in a market of just two competitors only one of them bothers to advertise.

      There is AMD trying to sell to the average Joe Market with its still decent lower cost CPUs but as Joe Average has never heard of them they buy the more expensive Intel box.

      Bloody daft. AMD's Marketing dept need sacking. Lazy sods.

      I get really tired of AMD whining about Intel and its uncompetitive practices, but in reality it's just Intel actually bothering to compete. AMD doesnt. They are the team that never turns up to the match. Intel's marketing team must just spend all day pissing themselves laughing.

      For the record I buy AMD CPUs. I like their tech actually and appreciate the good value.

      It's just they are run by muppets.

      1. TeeCee Gold badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Spot on!

        It all depends.

        When was the last time you saw someone looking at laptops in store and choosing the more expensive one of the same spec "because it's got an Intel processor inside it"?

        AMD may just be taking the attitude that the PIB consumer market is small beer, their sales targets are the OEMs and spunking money on lavish consumer advertising is a waste of cash. Particularly while the only real consumer selling point they can make is; "an AMD equipped machine is quite likely to be a little bit cheaper".

        Having said that, what they really should be doing is advertising their graphics side more aggressively. That's a place where consumer adverts might do some good, if they can convince people that having a machine with an AMD GPU is a Really Good Thing. There they can pick up sales, even if the consumer's already been brainwashed by the Intel advert juggernaut. It might also sell a few Fusion APU machines to CPU-agnostic customers too.

        1. jason 7


          ..when I spec up a PC for a customer and it has an AMD CPU in it I often get asked why not an Intel one.

          I explain the reasons but on occasions the customer has asked for the Intel option as in their mind its much better (even though they would never actually notice and might lose HDMI/USB3.0 etc).

          You can lead a horse to water...

          I agree on the GPU/Fusion/Llano side of things. These are Joe Average parts through and through and should be advertised as such.

          Never happen though.

  4. mhenriday

    If Read passed on specifics,

    no less can be said of Myslewski in his article on Read. Those for whom Rory Read is not a household name might have been interested to read more about his five years as president and CEO of Lenovo Group Ltd or his 23 years in various positions at IBM, among them as general manager, Business Innovation Services for Asia Pacific. I'm sure Rik Myslewski can do better if he really tries....


  5. Adam T

    All I can think is...

    They are so screwed.

    There was nothing good about any of his answers.

    "We need to get a sense of urgency"...can we have a running with scissors icon?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    "E71 ... quad core i7"

    I've got an E71 too. Nice, aren't they?

    They're a sensible size and the battery lasts for days. Neither of which will be possible for the foreseeable future with an Intel-based design.

    I haven't got a quad core i7 and I know very few people who need one, though the Wintel monopoly means lots of people are being sold them whether they need them or not.

    Based on recent years, Intel don't and won't 'get it'.

    Intel haven't had a notable success outside x86 in decades, and a fair part of their current x86 success has come from outside Intel (e.g. AMD64 clones and HyperTransport clones).

    Intel even sold their StrongARM business.

    Intel have basically zero prospect of organic in-house growth so they've resorted to purchasing software companies to hopefully provide the necessary opportunities (McAfee, Wind River for VxWorks, Virtutech for Simics, etc).

    As the global number of advanced fab customers decreases, Intel's advanced fab technology (which is historically responsible for much of their x86 success) is going to get more and more expensive.

    It's less clear where AMD's future lies, but the issues there are on the whole commercial rather than technical. E.g. HP exiting the PC market is probably unhelpful to AMD; which other big PC and server builder has had such a long-standing dual-source policy?

  7. Ian Yates

    I feel sick

    Did he say all that with a straight face? He's taking the CEO role to heart, that's for sure

  8. TheOtherHobbbes










    I think someone should round up a few "top CEOs" and give them their own show at the Edinburgh fringe.

    Of course, he may still turn out to be good at tech and sales. (Or at least, tech. Marketing wouldn't seem to be a strong point.)

    Time will tell.

  9. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    As an AMD fanboi....

    The PC I'm typing this on has a dual-core Athlon64 6000+, nowhere near cutting-edge. I passed on a Phenom upgrade because I really didn't see the need. I'm also not convinced I need a built-in GPU in my next CPU either, thanks, when I can have a variety of superior add-in graphics cards. I have run performance measuring software against my current platform and it meets all my current needs quite nicely (yes, even Crysis!). The problem is - like most home users - I don't actually need lots of superduper cores, I need a better system design (faster interconnects to RAM, disk and graphics). As for servers, CPUs with lots of faster cores does make sense for virtualised and consolidated platforms, but Intel can do that too. Hopefully, AMD will realise this first and get back in the game ahead of Intel with a bit of product differentiation. Otherwise, if they stay with the current "lots of fast cores" me-too products, I see them dying to Intel's superior marketing muscle, no matter how good those me-too products are.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    "you will still need desktops and servers with real CPU cores"

    Is anybody sensible saying that there won't still be some Wintel market for a few more years?

    What should surely be very clear is that five years from now the world won't need anything like as many Wintel boxes (desktops, servers, laptops) as are being sold today?

    Smartphones, fondleslabs, whatever, do most of the things most PC users need most of the time. Some of them even do it without Windows and therefore without x86. OK these boxes don't do CAD or games or high end stuff. So what; that's a tiny proportion of today's market.

    So, how many years does it take to build a high end chip shop, how much do they cost to equip, and how many chips per year for how many years do they need to process to make the fab-cost-per-chip something in the land of sensibleness?

    How are Intel going to justify their next generation of process (not processor) optimisation when there is no longer such a volume market for the chips, regardless of how many cores they can squeeze on a chip and how many chips on a wafer, and when even the premium-priced Xeons or whatever won't sell for enough to justify the new fab?

    Intel = decades of x86 and process optimisation.

    There should be a huge opportunity here for AMD to "think different". Sadly, so far I'm not seeing any indication they're ready to exploit it.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: "you will still need desktops and servers with real CPU cores"

      ".....What should surely be very clear is that five years from now the world won't need anything like as many Wintel boxes (desktops, servers, laptops) as are being sold today?...." Erm, why exactly? Fondleslabs to replace desktops or laptops? I think not. They simply don't have the performance or application spread. Where's my M$ Word for iPad? And how do I get my fondleslab to connect SECURELY to my corporate network when they don't even have an RJ-45 port? Please don't say "by wireless" unless you're looking for a career in comedy. I'd say desktops are pretty secure for many years yet.

      "....How are Intel going to justify their next generation of process (not processor) optimisation when there is no longer such a volume market for the chips...." You seem to be confused and believe a fab plant is constructed to make only one type of chip. Fab plants are usually built to a process, not one chip design, and then chips that are designed to work at that process are made at the fab. Suppose the unlikely does happen and Intel become just a foundry company, just making chips for other people (like TSMC), then they would justify the continual process upgrades to stay ahead of the thinning number of competitors.

      "......Intel = decades of x86 and process optimisation....." There has been a massive amount of development of that x86 design, but ultimatley it will meet a finite limit even if it isn't replaced by a superior design. But Intel are just as likely to make that superior design. ARM has yet to reach the level of performance required to replace it in desktops, let alone servers, so there is still time for Intel to either produce a competitor or simply swamp the market with Atoms. And there seems to be plenty of life in the x86 dog just yet. AMD better hope so as - other than the ATI graphics parts - x86 is the basis of their business.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    "plenty of life in the x86 dog just yet."

    "there seems to be plenty of life in the x86 dog just yet. "

    Very likely. But the market dominance Wintel has had for, what, two decades or more, isn't going to last for another two is it?

    "Where's my M$ Word for iPad? " (etc)

    Ask MS when Windows 8 for ARM is arriving? Until then use some non-Wintel package that can do .doc and .txt? They did exist, and they do exist. The HP Jornada 720 (ARM based) HandHeldPC had MS PocketOffice a decade ago, but then for some reason MS decided to abandon the Handheld PC form factor. Maybe it (and Psion) were just ahead of their time.

    "how do I get my fondleslab to connect SECURELY to my corporate network when they don't even have an RJ-45 port?"

    Just how hard/expensive do you think it would be to add an RJ45 connector and change the SoC for an identical one that has Ethernet built in? A modernised miniaturised LAN connector might help here in the same way as phones have Micro USB, but the rest is trivial. Why's it not happening? Good question. Probably the margins are better (for now) on notebooks etc - why sell a low margin fondleslab when you can make more profit selling a laptop?

    "a fab plant is constructed to make only one type of chip. "

    That depends on whether you're providing capacity to rent (TSMC etc) or whether your process exclusivity has historically delivered you a competitive advantage (Intel, while it's been affordable).

    "ARM has yet to reach the level of performance required to replace it in desktops"

    How many home or office desktops really need the CPU power they are currently being sold with? I'd hazard a guess based on my experience of everything from home gaming to corporate CAD (via everything in between) that probably 95%+ of desktops could manage with a five year old x86 CPU, and so could a great many notebooks etc, especially if the non-x86 SoC had video replay acceleration in hardware, and (where necessary for expandable notebook or desktop) a PCIe or whatever socket for any other accelerator as might occasionally be required by occasional power users.

    Multicore, which became trendy when clock speeds hit (Intel and other) fab technology limits, still isn't really relevant to the vast majority of home and desktop applications and users. But it helps sell stuff to clueless fashion victims.

    "time for Intel to produce a competitor "

    ROFL. Name a succesful innovation from Intel in the last decade or so, outside the Wintel segment. Or even inside the Wintel segment. Remember, there might be a prize.

    "swamp the market with Atoms"

    Intel are far more likely, based on past performance, to try some illegal abuse of monopoly, like they've been found guilty of with Dell, and like everybody with a clue knows they were doing with players in the netbook market.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Oversold unnecessary performance - objective evidence?

    "The PC I'm typing this on has a dual-core Athlon64 6000+"

    Marvellous. Now, other than maybe at power on self test and when the antivirus does a full system scan, and maybe when one of El Reg's or someone else's stupid Flash adverts goes loopy, how often and for how long do the fans audibly kick in? Because if the fans aren't audibly at high speed on a regular sustained basis, you've been sold (and paid extra for) unnecessary CPU performance (and for extra PSU capacity and oversized heatsinks and..).

    What Matt does with his PC may or may not be representative, too...

    Don't trust the fans, want something more reliable? Fair enough. Ask Windows Task Manager to display its performance tab, or xosview or similar under Linux, or local equivalent. If you've got some experience in SNMP-based tools or similar you can probably record the performance data over an extended period rather than just taking spot samples.

    90%+ of PCs and laptops spend 90%+ of their power-on time 90%+ idle. Multicore technology is irrelevant to 90% of the market. The 90 is a bit of a guess, if you don't like it just pick a similar number you can believe.

    Matt may not like the evidence, the Wintel folks and their disciples in "the channel" certainly won't, but Holmes would agree that it's objective evidence that fashion victims are being ripped off.

  13. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Confuzzled you are!

    " often and for how long do the fans audibly kick in?...." Well, the 6000+ is kinda notorious as the king of home-office heaters, so it has a big Artic cooler, and the fan is spinning fast ALL the time. Not exactly AMD's best effort in thermal efficeincy, but the performance is good enough to make the idea of a Phenom or i5/i7 upgrade completely unneeded, which kinda is the point I think you were making.

    "....What Matt does with his PC may or may not be representative, too ...." Agreed, most of the home users and probably 90% of office users could be served by a low-power x86 like (drumroll please!) an Intel Atom......

    "....Matt may not like the evidence...." Que? You're agreeing with the point I made myself - there is no need for the multi-core superduper PC CPUs, other than bragging rights. Not even high-end CAD really needs that grunt, it's more a GPU task.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like