AMD expands their senior leadership to maintain their growth

By Jaydeep Bhattacharjee

AMD is really hopeful that the executive team will maintain AMD’s gains and build on them in the future.

Last week, AMD announced the expansion of its senior leadership team through several promotions and a new face to enable the company’s future growth. The company is at the top of its game and that can be a dangerous place to be. The company has powerful competitors gunning for it. Four AMD executives have gotten promotions. AMD describes their new roles:

  • Nazar Zaidi, senior vice president of Cores, Server SoC and Systems IP Engineering: continued responsibility for leading the development of leadership CPU cores, server SoCs and system IP.
  • Andrej Zdravkovic, senior vice president of Software Development: leading the teams responsible for all aspects of AMD software strategy and development across AMD graphics, client and data center products.
  • Spencer Pan, senior vice president of Greater China Sales and president of AMD Greater China: responsibility for leading all sales and go-to-market activities for AMD in Greater China and expansion of strategic partner and customer relationships in the region.
  • Jane Roney, senior vice president of Business Operations: responsible for aligning and scaling critical business processes across the company to support growth and help ensure consistent execution.

Meanwhile, Intel has lost some competitive ground, while surging in the data center and racking up $20 billion in revenues for its most recent quarter. (See: Intel Q4 2019 results.) At the end of 2019, Intel publicly acknowledged setbacks from chip shortages in the market raising the ire of its PC partners which were impacted. Not surprisingly, there has been considerable churn in Intel’s executive ranks.

AMD is benefitting from its competitors’ misfortunes, most concretely with the hiring of Dan McNamara who was Senior Vice President and general manager of Intel’s Network and Custom Logic Group. The move comes at a good time as AMD concentrates on growing its position in the data center. McNamara has been hired as a Senior Vice President and General Manager, Server Business Unit. AMD says, McNamara is responsible for the successful introduction of the 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors. At AMD, his job is to further boost the company’s high-performance server solutions with cloud, enterprise and ecosystem partners. In addition to Intel, McNamara has held senior management and engineering roles at Altera, StarGen, SemiTech Solutions and Raytheon in his 27-year career.

McNamara won’t have long to celebrate. Intel’s EVP of sales and marketing, Michelle Holthaus published a letter in November 2019, apologizing for Intel’s chip shortages and outlining the steps the company is taking to fight back. In her letter, Holthaus said, “in addition to expanding Intel’s own manufacturing capability, we are increasing our use of foundries to enable Intel’s differentiated manufacturing to produce more Intel CPU products.” Intel hopes to overcome its shortages this year.

In addition to chip shortages, Intel is still suffering from its miss in process technology. AMD took an enormous risk making the leap to 7 nm. It paid off when AMD was not only successful but Intel’s transition to 10 nm had been delayed.

AMD is in a good position with its Ryzen processors competing well in several markets against Intel on the basis of both price and performance. The new 7-nm Ryzen 8-core processors were shown at CES 2020 in new desktops and Ultrathin laptops. AMD also announced that the new 64-core, 128-thread AMD Rzyen Threadripper 3990X is on its way in early February.

Early news on AMD’s new graphics is good. At CES, the company showed off the new Radeon RX 5600 lineup, which are featured in the new Alienware Aurora gaming PC and the Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics board available from AMD’s board partners.

The news is good, but Intel and Nvidia are hard at it with their own advances and new products on the way. Both Intel and Nvidia have enormous resources to compete with. AMD has to be smart as builds. The executive team, including these people in new positions, will have to work flat out to maintain AMD’s gains and build on them.

With the announcement of the promotions and the hiring of Dan McNamara, Su says in the press release, “I am delighted to announce these additions to our senior leadership team. Each of these leaders will play key roles in helping us achieve our long-term growth objectives in the coming years.”