Long time followers of AMD were reflecting on the company's ability to once more snatch defeat from the jaws of victory last week, after the company dispensed with the services of its CEO, but as things seemed to be headed back in the right direction.
Dirk Meyer was asked to shut the door on his way out at the start of last week by an executive board that was feeling left out by all the buzz around tablets and smartphones. This was presumably the same group of people who sanctioned the sale of ATI's handheld division to Qualcomm for pocket change two years ago.
In the intervening two years Meyer focused on cutting costs, competing with Intel and getting back to profitability. Things look a lot more promising for AMD than they did at the start of Meyer's tenure, not least due launch of its Fusion architecture, so it came as a complete shock to everyone to see Meyer booted out.
The lack of any explanation for the move bar some platitudes about moving to the next level has left investors seriously unamused and left AMD as the most significant faller of last week.
Just to rub salt in AMD's wounds, the two biggest gainers of last week base much of their business on the very chips AMD can't make - mobile SoCs. All the buzz around tablets this year - especially the anticipated growth in Android Honeycomb ones - has given both ARM and NVIDIA a boost.
They also both got a bit of help from Intel. NVIDIA directly, via the $1.5 billion settlement of a legal battle between the two, and ARM via the general semiconductor optimism that came from Intel's record earnings. Intel itself, by contrast, had a relatively quiet week among investors, and its shares actually fell after its earnings report.
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