AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su pumped the brakes on an interview at the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix over the weekend when a former race car driver now working as a commentator for Sky Sports asked, "Excuse me ma'am, do you speak English?" While perhaps not totally out of line when approaching a random stranger at a Chinese event, what made the incident truly awkward was that this occurred at an event in which AMD was one of the sponsors.
Martin Brundle, at one time a professional racer who joined the scene at the age of 12, apparently did not recognize the prominent CEO. And because this happened on live TV, there was no taking a mulligan on the faux pas. That made for a cringe-worthy exchange, with Brundle attempting to remove his foot from his mouth while Dr. Lisa Su tried to take the question in stride.
"Yes I do," she responded. Brundle followed up his opening question by telling Dr. Lisa Su that she was a "random person" at the event, then asked what she was doing there. After explaining that she was with AMD and that her company was sponsoring the Ferrari car, the situation started to click for Brundle, who then began tripping over his words.
"Ah okay, yes, so we're...right, so you got VIP access....look, you got access everywhere by the looks of it," Brundle stumbled as he pointed to Dr. Lisa Su's badges.
At that point, it seemed clear that Dr. Lisa Su wanted the interview to end, though she was very polite about it. Maybe she was throwing Brundle a bone before he dug himself an even bigger hole. In Brundle's defense, a lot of people outside of the tech sector probably wouldn't recognize the CEO. Still, it was not Brundle's finest moment.
Thumbnail and Top Image Source: Streamable via Sky Sports