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Last week AMD announced layoffs that impacted 10% of its workforce. A disproportionate number of those AMDers were apparently from the marketing and PR groups, but even engineering was affected. In CEO Rory Read's internal memo announcing the layoffs, he made reference to a mysterious "Project Win" that would be discussed in a webcast on November 9th. That's today, but where's the webcast and what's Project Win?

There was an internal AMD webcast but there's no announcement of a change in corporate direction. AMD's next analyst day in early February 2012 is when we'll officially hear about what AMD plans to do under Read's leadership.

As for Project Win, that's simply an internal codename referring to an effort to streamline AMD's business practices. The project didn't have a name previously but it refers to something AMD has been talking about in its earnings calls for the past couple of quarters. An excerpt from last quarter's earnings call where Project Win was referenced (not by name) is below:

"Last quarter, I described a set of initiatives to streamline business and decision-making processes across our operations, R&D and go-to-market functions. We are in full executional deployment across each of the key work streams. These efforts are aimed at accelerating our transformation to a world-class design company...growing revenue, lowering costs and reducing time-to-market. We expect to see material benefits from this project in 2012."

In short, Project Win is just about making AMD leaner and more efficient. Layered on top of this leaner AMD will be a (new?) product strategy, which we'll hear about in February. Until then, there's still AMD's 28nm GPU launch that we're waiting for...

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  • Mishera - Friday, November 11, 2011 - link

    Yea, but I can't help but to think how much more streamlined can you get on the engineering side? The GPU side's doing very well so I don't know if you want to mess with that, and I thought layoffs were one of the main reasons Bulldozer disappointed.

    This is especially scary with many upper management engineers having left. I've got to think that this is going to affect AMD's long term vision, which is probably bad for the industry.
    Reply
  • Beenthere - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    We'll see if Mr. Read and the board are on the same page, soon I suspect. Reply
  • frozentundra123456 - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    Anand, maybe you should run AMD. What you said in the last paragraph is much more concise and makes more sense than the marketing babble that RR was spitting out.

    Does this guy have any engineering expertise, or is he just a marketing person? Maybe he will do an excellent job, but so far I have a bad feeling about this guy. Glad I dont work for AMD.
    Reply
  • Ethaniel - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    Seconded for Anand as CEO. I'll take the Catalyst department. I don't know a thing about programming but I'll whip them until the drivers are 15 MB in size. Or less. Reply
  • Alexvrb - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    Hi, it's 2011. If you can't download Catalyst packages in the blink of an eye, you need to get a friend to do it for you. Or else go leech wifi from a restaurant or coffee shop. Something. Don't cut out features for everyone else. Reply
  • Ethaniel - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    I'm not talking about bandwidth access or speed. The drivers are just bloated. The hotfixes are even bigger. They could be a lot more efficient. Reply
  • Arnulf - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    What features, silly ? Catalyst drivers are a huge blob of crap that should really be 10% times the size it is now, especially considering the fact that it requires yet another large blob (.Net) to even run.

    There is absolutely no reason why the driver and the tweaker application that consists of nothing more than few sliders and checkboxes should be larger combined than the minimum size for a GUI application, which on Windows I estimate to be well under 10 MB (driver taking the smaller portion of this).

    Anybody who has done low-level programming on things such as drivers knows that there is no way in heel to get them bloated up to 100+ MB without doing dumb things on purpose.
    Reply
  • chiddy - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    +1 Reply
  • Taft12 - Friday, November 11, 2011 - link

    Give this man a 6! (well crap, this isn't dailytech)

    The .NET requirement especially is plain idiotic. They sure don't need it on the Linux side and CCC looks about the same. Many of us like to truly minimize the OS footprint on a gaming machine Windows install.
    Reply
  • Sunsmasher - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    I'm concerned about the direction of AMD these days.
    I read Rory Read's comments to the troops and it really sounded like a lot of corporate-speak.
    However, on reflection I believe that this is what he was really trying to say:

    "Last quarter, or was it fifty cents, I described a set of initiatives to streamline business and decision-making processes across our operations, (in order to speed them up to a higher speed), R&D (so that we can discover new ways to make the things we manufacture), and go-to-market functions (so that our inventories of processor component fruits and vegetables remain at competitive levels). We are in full executional deployment across each of the key work streams, getting things done at the time that they are completed, efficiently and finally. These efforts are aimed at accelerating our transformation to a world-class design company that efficiently designs World Classes better than any competitor...growing revenue to a point where it is much greater than now, lowering costs to a point far less expensive than at the present time, and reducing time-to-market (driving faster than in the past when going to shop). We expect to see material benefits from this project that will greatly benefit us in 2012, or sooner if our future projections are accurate and we are able to arrive at that year before that time."
    Reply

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