* Company says Seifert leaving on good terms
* Shares drop after hours
* Corporate controller standing in
By Noel Randewich
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 17 Advanced Micro Devices
Inc said Chief Financial Officer Thomas Seifert was
leaving the struggling personal computer chipmaker to pursue
other opportunities, sending its shares down almost 12 percent.
After filling in as AMD's temporary CEO through August last
year, Seifert now wants to find a permanent CEO position, a
source close to the company said.
Seifert's departure is concerning because - even though he
had only been CFO for three years - he had more experience at
AMD than other top executives, said Evercore Partners analyst
"Thomas leaving is a big deal. He was pretty well-liked by
investors. He was viewed as he rock throughout all the changes,"
Devinder Kumar, senior vice president and corporate
controller, will serve as AMD's temporary CFO until a
replacement is found.
"Seifert's departure is not based on any disagreement over
the company's accounting principles or practices, or financial
statement disclosures," AMD said in a statement.
PC-related companies have been hit by a slump in demand as
smartphones and tablets grow in popularity, but AMD's woes are
also seen as at least partly company-specific, with executives
and analysts pointing to problems with execution.
In July, AMD slashed its outlook for second-quarter revenue
after disappointing sales in China and Europe, becoming one of
the biggest tech names to date to warn that a global economic
slowdown is taking a harsher-than-expected toll.
Before the announcement on Monday, Longbow Research analyst
Joanne Feeney downgraded her ratings on AMD and larger rival
Intel Corp to "neutral" from "buy" due to concerns
about slow PC sales.
"Thomas has been the one that many have trusted to keep
operating expenses under control during a difficult time in the
economy," she said later. "I suspect some of the concerns you're
seeing in after-market trading reflect concerns about whether
that kind of spending discipline will be maintained without his
After the board ousted previous CEO Dirk Meyer, over
disappointment with AMD's limited success in developing products
for the smartphone and mobile markets, Seifert stood in for
several months until Read was hired.
Read's start at AMD was followed by the departure of senior
executives, as well as some respected engineers.
To rebuild its talent pool, AMD hired former Apple Inc
executive Mark Papermaster last year to be Chief
Technology Officer and Freescale Semiconductor Ltd
executive Lisa Su as senior vice president and general manager,
global business units.
In August, the company hired Jim Keller, formerly of Apple,
as chief architect of its microprocessor cores.
Forty-eight year-old Seifert will stay on through Sept. 28,
AMD shares fell 11.72 percent in extended trading after
closing up 2.82 percent at $4.01.