Chip Maker AMD’s Products Chief Departs

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. said Thursday that the head of its products business is leaving the chip maker “to pursue an opportunity at another company,” creating a big gap a month after the company named a new chief executive.

Chip Maker AMDs Products Chief Departs Chip Maker AMDs Products Chief DepartsThe Sunnyvale, Calif., company said its new chief executive, Rory Read, will assume Rick Bergman’s duties leading AMD’s graphics and microprocessor development teams, while the company looks for a successor.

Under Mr. Bergman’s leadership, AMD’s graphics business gained market share, and the company introduced a new chip line, dubbed Fusion, that combines graphics and computing on the same piece of silicon. But AMD also has faced delays and production problems with its mainstream computing chip called Llano, and it has seen other executives and engineers leave the company.

“Llano was late, and execution with GlobalFoundries [the spinoff of AMD's manufacturing operations] has been poor,” MKM Partners analyst Dan Berenbaum said. “Rick has been around for a lot of the execution problems.”

Further details as to why Mr. Bergman left his position as senior vice president and general manager weren’t provided, and attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.

Evercore analyst Patrick Wang said Mr. Bergman’s departure is a blow for AMD, with Mr. Bergman being a “relatively stable” presence at the company, helping it withstand the challenges of recent years. “Having him leave has got to impact morale,” Mr. Wang said.

Mr. Bergman took on a more public role at AMD while the chip maker was searching for a new chief executive. The company had ousted its previous CEO in January and only named Mr. Read, the former president of Lenovo Group Ltd., as the permanent successor late last month.

Before taking over the products group, Mr. Bergman served as general manager of the discrete-graphics business. He joined the company as part of AMD’s acquisition of ATI in late 2006.

The chip maker has long faced a tough battle with larger rival Intel Corp. Now, both companies are grappling with rising demand for smartphones and tablet computers, which don’t use their chips, and slowing growth in their core PC market. Dirk Meyer left as AMD’s CEO in January because of board concerns that he wasn’t moving quickly enough to begin offering chips for mobile devices.

Meanwhile, AMD also said Paul Struhsaker has joined the company to lead its newly formed commercial-business division. He will oversee product management and roadmap planning for AMD’s server, high-performance computing and embedded products. Previously, he was senior vice president of engineering at cable provider Comcast Corp.

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