Breaking: AMD's Rory Read Steps Down As CEO, Dr. Lisa Su Appointed President And CEO

Surprise! AMD has a new chief and her name is Dr. Lisa Su. She replaces Rory Read, 52, who has stepped down as president and CEO as part of a transition plan that will have him support the new boss in an advisory role. Read will remain with AMD through the end of the year, at which point Dr. Su will be flying solo.

Bruce Claflin, chairman of AMD's board of directors, dispelled any notions that there might exist some animosity between AMD and Read, at least publicly. To the contrary, Claflin says that Read and the board have been working on a leadership succession plan together and felt that now was the time for Dr. Su to take over the role as president and CEO.

Rory Read and Dr. Lisa Su

"I am deeply honored to have this opportunity to lead AMD during this important time of transformation. Our world-class technology assets combined with the incredible talent and passion of the AMD team provide us with a unique opportunity to shape the future of computing. I look forward to expanding on the strong foundation we have built under Rory's leadership as we develop industry-leading technologies and products for a diverse set of markets to drive sustainable and profitable growth," Dr. Su said in a statement.

Read replaced Dirk Meyer as CEO of AMD back in August 2011. While not particularly animated or, quite frankly, all that interesting to listen to during keynotes and other public speaking events, Read wasn't brought in to put on a show. His job was to promote the AMD brand and build connections with other industry players, and to his credit, that's what he did during the past three years. He also returned the company to non-GAAP profitability, reduced operating expenditures by about 30 percent (since 2012), and maintained a cash reserve of around $1 billion during his tenure.

Having accomplished what he was brought in to do, the promotion of Dr. Su is an opportunity for AMD to gain a fresh perspective on the market and continue its growth. Dr. Su brings with her an impressive resume that includes prior experience with Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., Texas Instruments, and IBM, the latter of which she spent 13 years in various engineering and business leadership positions, including VP of the Semiconductor Research and Development Center responsible for the strategic direction of IBM's silicon technologies, joint development alliances, and semiconductor R&D operations.