AMD CEO Lisa Su Says Chipmaker’s Path Gets Tougher From Here
(Bloomberg) -- Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lisa Su, who took the helm in 2014, has returned the chipmaker to profitability, taken market share from Intel Corp. and banished concerns about the company running out of cash.
More than six years into her tenure, AMD has seen its market value surge to more than $90 billion from about $2 billion when Su was named CEO. On Wednesday, the company unveiled a $4 billion stock-repurchase plan, its first buyback since 2001, highlighting its new financial heft and stability. Still, Su isn’t ready to take a victory lap.
“Without a doubt it does not get easier,” Su said in an interview with Bloomberg Technology’s Emily Chang. “We’re in a very competitive market. We have big ambitions about what we want to be able to do.”
Su’s AMD has gone from an also-ran chipmaker offering cheaper alternatives to Intel products to a respected provider of computer processors that win orders based on superior performance. Su, the first woman to become CEO of a major chip company, said her main accomplishment has been earning AMD a new reputation for delivering on its promises. She has won customers’ trust that AMD can consistently supply improving products, she said.
The executive has restored AMD’s reputation and performance at a critical juncture for the industry. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated demand for remote computing via the internet and for devices needed to support study and work at home. And all this came during a period when Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, had struggled to improve its manufacturing technology, one of the foundations of its decades-long dominance of the computer industry.
Su said recent chip shortages, which have hamstrung multiple industries as the world economy comes back to life, are not a disaster -- they’re just another example of the periodic imbalances between supply and demand in the semiconductor market. One silver lining for the chip industry is that it has made customers more open to longer-term commitments.
“Normally everybody sort of plans their worlds separately, and now we’re really having to plan our worlds together,” she said.
She predicts supply of AMD chips, which are built by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., will improve throughout 2021.
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