Former AMD CEO Rory Read finds a home in Dell

Former AMD CEO Rory Read has seemingly stepped down the executive ladder by taking a job at Dell to lead global commercial sales, but some analysts think the move could give him a career boost.

Read will be responsible for sales planning and execution as president of worldwide commercial sales and chief operating officer of the company’s Enterprise Solutions Group. He will report to Marius Haas, who is Dell’s Chief Commercial Officer and President of the Enterprise Solutions Group.

Read was AMD’s CEO from August 2011 until October last year, when he stepped down and was replaced by Lisa Su. Read took aggressive steps to turn around AMD, replacing top management, revamping the product roadmap, cutting staff, and entering new markets outside PCs like custom chips. Under his leadership, AMD delivered a few quarters of profits, but remained financially unstable.

While the Dell job may seem like a step down for Read, he’s taking on a role he has a lot of experience in, said Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research.

In previous jobs at Lenovo and IBM, Read played a strong role in maintaining partnerships, and he’ll be doing the same thing at Dell, McCarron said.

Read was hired as AMD’s CEO because the chip-maker had to foster better relationships with PC makers. But in the ensuring restructuring, AMD’s priorities shifted and it went after new markets in an effort to cut its reliance on PCs.

With the shift in priorities, Su—with her extensive sales and engineering experience—was in a better position to lead AMD into the future, McCarron said.

Read may be looking at the Dell position as a step up from his previous roles, said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64.

At his current role, Read perhaps won’t be a candidate in line to succeed Dell CEO Michael Dell. But Dell is larger than AMD, with more revenue, market capitalization and customers, giving Read a better chance to grow professionally.

Dell’s management team has other executives who previously ran companies, including former CA CEO John Swainson, who runs the software group, and former Wipro co-CEO Suresh Vaswani, who runs the services group.

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