AMD hires chip veterans, diversifies beyond PCs

Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:16pm EST
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By Noel Randewich

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Advanced Micro Devices Inc has hired two senior engineers with experience at Qualcomm Inc and Apple Inc, its latest high-level recruitments as it diversifies beyond a slowing personal computer industry, sources close to the chipmaker said.

Charles Matar, with expertise in low-power and embedded chip design, joined as AMD's vice president of System-on-Chip Development, two sources said. Matar most recently worked at Qualcomm.

Wayne Meretsky, who worked at Apple in the 1990s on the Mac, was named vice president, software IP development, they said. Meretsky will lead software developments for AMD's chips.

AMD spokesman Drew Prairie also confirmed that AMD hired the two engineers to help the chipmaker expand into new markets, but he did not provide details.

AMD depends on the PC industry for about 80 percent of its revenue. With sales in that business falling due to a growing preference for smartphones and tablets, the company is rushing to expand into new markets for its chip processors and graphics technology.

The chipmaker is due to report its December-quarter earnings later on Tuesday and analysts on average expect a 9 percent drop in revenue from the September quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. That would be in line with AMD's own forecast.

One of Silicon Valley's oldest chipmakers, AMD has experienced major changes in its lineup of executives and senior engineers since Chief Executive Rory Read moved over from PC maker Lenovo in 2011 promising to make the struggling chipmaker more efficient.

In October, AMD announced it was laying off 15 percent of its workforce, its second round of job cuts in less than a year.   Continued...

Visitors look at motherboards being displayed at the AMD booth during the 2012 Computex exhibition at the TWTC Nangang exhibition hall in Taipei June 6, 2012. EUTERS/Yi-ting Chung