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AMD names Lenovo’s Rory Read as new CEO

AMD CEO Rory Read

Chipmaker AMD has named Rory Read as its new CEO, effective immediately. Read comes to AMD from five years at PC maker Lenovo, where he was most recently company president and chief operating officer; before working at Lenovo, Read put in 23 year with IBM, including serving as general manager for business consulting services in teh South Pacific as well as managing director for IBM’s Consulting Services division. AMD has also appointed Read to the company board of directors.

“Rory is a proven leader with an impressive record of driving profitable growth,” said AMD chairman Bruce Claflin, in a statement. “He is ideally suited to accelerate AMD’s evolution into the world’s leading semiconductor design company.”

Reads appointment follows more than eight months after AMD’s previous CEO Dirk Meyer resigned in what the company described as a “mutual decision” over a reported disagreement involving the company’s mobile strategy. AMD launched a search for a new CEO immediately, although there hasn’t been much word on what other candidates were considered for the role: rumors have focussed on former NCR and Intel executives, as well as former HP CEO Mark Hurd and now-Apple CEO Tim Cook. In the meantime, Thomas Seifert had been serving as interim CEO for the company; with Read’s appointment, he will return to his role as senior vice president and CFO.

In the meantime, AMD has worked to consolidate its turf in high-performance graphics processing (where it competes primarily with Nvidia) and launched its new Fusion line of APU processors with integrated graphics, specifically geared to compete with Intel’s second-generation Core processors and myriad Atom offerings.

Read’s time with IBM and Lenovo demonstrated an aptitude for taking companies into new product areas and maintaining profitability. Those traits may help Read in his new role, although he certainly faces challenges: both Lenovo and AMD have been late to enter the burgeoning market for tablet devices, and AMD has been struggling to compete against Intel in the high-end server market.