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AMD Reportedly Preparing Massive Layoff 286

Posted by timothy
from the might-want-to-put-all-your-stuff-in-a-box dept.
An anonymous reader writes "AMD is preparing to lay off 20 to 30 percent of its workforce after warning of a 10 percent decline in Q3 revenues driven by the weak global economy and PC sales, according to AllThingsD's Arik Hesseldehl. The layoffs will reportedly focus on engineering and sales, and are in addition to a 10 percent headcount reduction 11 months ago. Teams of consultants from McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group are reportedly swarming headquarters to advise the CEO Rory Read, who took over from Dirk Meyer a little over a year ago; several senior executives, including the CFO, have recently departed."
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AMD Reportedly Preparing Massive Layoff

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  • by Phelan (30485) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @01:50AM (#41639565)

    What do you do when you are trying to maximize short term shareholder value in a distribution based business?
    Cut R&D, get rid of sales staff for new markets...
    Hit your profit goal, sell stock, get bonus by the time the company goes under you're long gone with your friends at McKinney.
    Usually it takes 3 years in hardware for a R&D cut to show in sales figures... Mark it down also mark down the current CEO will be chilling on his new island by that time

  • by mewsenews (251487) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @01:57AM (#41639589) Homepage

    Especially the engineers. You need engineers to keep doing what you do. This really bodes badly for AMD, because without engineers, they're basically slitting their company's wrists. I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that they're getting rid of the ones with seniority at that to try to save a few bucks on salary while simultaneously bleeding themselves out of knowledge and experience.

    Early retirement - the perfect recipe for short term savings and long term loss of institutional knowledge!!

  • by Spy Handler (822350) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @02:50AM (#41639767) Homepage Journal

    Remember 10-15 years ago when the AMD chips beat the Intel chips, and forced Intel out of their complacency? With AMD gone where is Intel's motivation to keep the desktop going? Not to mention the graphics part.

    You don't have to go back that far. In 2005 I bought an Athlon and it outperformed comparable Pentium 4 Hyperthreading chips. At that time Intel kept upping the clock speed but there was no corresponding increase in performance. My Athlon which was 2.2 ghz (i think) outperformed Pentium 4 HT 3.0 ghz.

    It wasn't until Intel came out with the Core2Duo that they began to push AMD aside.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2012 @03:53AM (#41639971)

    Uh, yeah.

    Down 6% in Q1, down 11% in Q2, and they were expected to be down 1% in Q3... instead they were down 10%.

    Meanwhile they're not competeing in servers or smartphones, the PC market is shit and it isn't looking like it's going to get any better. Laptops are the one place they're strong, and nobody is optimistic on laptop sales.

    It's bleak over there, and believe it or not, they've got a pretty good idea of just how bleak it is.

  • Re:Not exactly (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2012 @04:02AM (#41639991)

    No, AMD made some really stupid decisions over the last 10 years or so. Things like over paying for ATI, but they've been able to sell all the chips they've produced.

    The problem is that they're still paying off that debt and need to put more money into R&D. I'm not sure what engineers they're allegedly going to be laying off, but I can't imagine them laying off any that are working in R&D.

    AMD won't be going out of business any time soon because Intel can't afford the kind of questions that would raise. AMD is pretty much the only reason why there's any meaningful innovation in that particular area of chips.

    Last I checked, Intel laptop chips were grossly overpriced and under powered. The laptop I'm using was half the price of the equivalent Intel based laptop and while it doesn't get quite as good battery life, for the price difference I could buy a metric crap ton of batteries for it.

  • Re:Servers (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2012 @04:04AM (#41639997)

    Either they overcommitted to OEMs or they simply did not provision enough for people like me. If they were quicker to get the revision out I am sure they could have made up for that 10% drop.
    I am an engineer at Intel. I work on core design and engineering of Intel's latest-and-greatest products, and have seen extensive internal reverse engineering work done on AMD products.

    It's incredibly hard to just produce "more" of a new product when the process engineering side is not functioning stably, as we believe frequently to be the case for AMD. You'd be amazed how much a fab's ability to pump out silicon is limited by one or two critical pieces, like a lithography tool which is literally unique in the entire world, will cost $50 million to replace, and cannot be had for love or money in less than 3 months lead time.

  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @05:10AM (#41640157)

    Have a foot in both x86 and ARM.

    You arent very well informed. AMD doesn't fab processors, so cannot possibly fab ARM processors. AMD is like ARM now and only designs processors, but unlike ARM they do not license the design out (probably they cannot, thanks to IP deals with Intel.)

    AMD spun off their fab business in 2009, which is named Global Foundries, divesting their last shares in the company earlier this year.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday October 13, 2012 @06:10AM (#41640323) Journal

    And WHY are they so down? One word....FAILDOZER!!!

    Even guys like me that support competition and thought Intel should have been busted for the bribery and compiler rigging have been avoiding Faildozer and why? Because its a bad design, its a server chip designed for integer workloads when consumer workloads are heavy floating point, gets beat in many benches by Thuban, the chip they canceled which just FYI was still selling well and more importantly was getting nearly 100% yields oh and just to add the salt to the wound they didn't bother to tell Microsoft what they were up to so the Windows scheduler ties a boat anchor to its already pitiful performance in all MSFT OSes except...Win 8, the Star Trek 5 of OSes.

    Let us hope to all that is good that they don't end up tits up, because Intel already has high prices and without AMD they would go insane on the prices. personally i'll keep building AM3+ and selling E450s and Liano on netbooks and laptops but faildozer is just an awful chip. I hope the former Apple chip designer they got comes out with a worthy replacement for Thuban, instead of just trying to crank up the clocks on a bad design. Hmmm...where did we see that before? Oh yeah...it was called Netburst, only AMD can't afford to bribe OEMs into taking it.

    Oh and just FYI but there is still hundreds of millions of X86 units sold a year so its STILL a good market where good money can be made, but AMD needs either the performance or at LEAST the bang for the buck, instead AMD has a design that is too hot, costs too much to make so they have to price it noncompetitive, and has poor yields and lousy performance. If your product is bad? Nobody buys, at least not enough to make money, simple as that.

  • by ifiwereasculptor (1870574) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @08:49AM (#41640779)

    The 8150 has many problems, but that's the first time I see anyone complain about its upgrade path. The thing is the 8150 is currently the flagship. Vishera is about to be released for the same AM3+ socket, with modest improvements. If you had an i7 3770k, you'd be complaining about the same thing, unless you went LGA 2011 (then again, if you did and got a $1000 processor, you'd be in a position to make the same complaint again). In fact, you're relatively better off than an i7 2600k owner because Vishera will probably bring a bigger performance improvement over Bulldozer than Ivy brought over Sandy (which, considering how the 8150 performs, isn't exactly impressive).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2012 @10:29AM (#41641267)

    One nice thing is that AMD doesn't play tricks with features. All of their new CPUs come with IOMMU and AES instructions. With Intel, you have to be very careful what chip you pick. Core i3's for the most part aren't overclockable and don't have AES-NI. Looking for VT-d? Watch out, the overclockable Core i7-3700k doesn't have it, but the non-k version does.

    AMD doesn't compete with Intel in the high end anymore, but I think that's okay. There isn't a huge market for the high end anymore. They need to focus on their strengths, which are budget systems that are perfectly fine for more than 80% of the computing population, and their excellent graphics hardware.

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