AMD dumps Dirk Meyer

Dirk Meyer resigned as AMD's chief executive yesterday, according to a statement from the chip maker, although the same statement makes it clear that he was pushed.

AMD said the resignation was arrived at "by mutual agreement". But the statement goes on to say that the board of directors decided a change of leader would help bring in more loot.

According to a statement attributed to Bruce Claflin, chairman of AMD’s board of directors, "the Board believes we have the opportunity to create increased shareholder value over time. This will require the company to have significant growth, establish market leadership and generate superior financial returns. We believe a change in leadership at this time will accelerate the company’s ability to accomplish these objectives."

AMD last week launched the first of its Fusion range of processors that integrate both CPU and GPU on the same silicon. That move is the consolidation of a long-term strategy kicked off when AMD bought Canadian graphics chip from ATI in 2006 for $5.4 billion. The deal broke the company and its chip-making arm was spun off to become GlobalFoundries, leaving Meyer in charge of a slimmed-down AMD.

With that process complete, it appears that the AMD board looked around and said, 'Right... about time we made some money.'

"Dirk became CEO during difficult times. He successfully stabilised AMD while simultaneously concluding strategic initiatives including the launch of GlobalFoundries, the successful settlement of our litigation with Intel and delivering Fusion APUs to the market,” said Claflin. ”However, the Board believes we have the opportunity to create increased shareholder value over time..."

In the company statement, Meyer, 49, is said to have said: "My 15 years at AMD have included some amazing high points. I wish the company well as AMD focuses successfully on the road ahead."

Any statement he makes over the coming days that deviate from this non-committal line will probably cost him a few million dollars.

AMD named current CFO Thomas Seifert, 47, as interim CEO.

Shares in the company fell by nearly four per cent in after-hours trading following the announcement.