AMD insiders blame mobile apathy for CEO’s exit

Details of AMD boss Dirk Meyer’s shock exit are emerging, with insiders saying the board lost patience with their CEO for failing to exploit the booming mobile market.

The PC chipmaker’s shares slumped 9% after AMD said Meyer was leaving as the result of a “mutual agreement” with the board of directors.

According to sources, the main reason for Meyer’s departure was discontent on the board about AMD’s choice not to pursue making chips for the mobile market other than netbooks.

In October, Meyer had told analysts that even though tablets like Apple’s iPad were eating into demand for laptops, AMD would hold off on investing to develop microprocessors for that market until it grew more.

AMD focuses on making chips for personal computers and servers, and competes directly against much larger Intel.

“Strategically they [the board] didn’t feel like Dirk was taking them down the road they wanted to be on. They wanted to be on the Yellow Brick Road toward tablets and smartphones,” said Patrick Wang, an analyst at Wedbush.

Smartphone and tablets typically use more power-efficient chips than the x86-based processors sold by Intel and AMD that have served as the main processing brains of PCs for years, with chipmaker ARM a popular choice in handsets.

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