The US-based financial newspaper Barron’s recently released its list of the “World’s Best CEOs of 2019,” in which AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su is included and prominently featured on both the online publication and on the front page of the physical magazine (which also has the subtitle “How Lisa Su engineered a stunning turnaround at chip maker Advanced Micro Devices”). Lisa Su is placed on equal ground with CEOs such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Disney’s Robert Iger, and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella. Credit: Barrons
Barron’s added Su to the list due to AMD’s recovery in the market. After having been appointed CEO of AMD in 2014, it took some time for Su put AMD in the position it’s in now. Under her leadership, AMD has seen the successful release of its CPU architecture Zen and its GPU architecture Polaris, both of which had been planned before her appointment as CEO. The imminent launches of Zen 2 based CPUs and Navi based GPUs mark the first products that an AMD under Su’s direction is responsible for. Zen 2 in particular has been praised thanks to its potent combination of the new 7nm node from TSMC, vast architectural improvements, and utilization of chiplet technology.
Su’s engineering background is one of her keys to success. “I love spending time with the engineers, going into the lab, and getting a feel for what the real challenges are, because it just helps me make better decisions on the business,” Su said to Barrons.
Describing AMD as now a “genuine threat [to Intel]”, Barron’s expects the company to see great gains in the coming years. It’s not hard to see why: AMD has scored several deals on supercomputers such as Big Red 200 and Frontier, its X570 motherboards for Ryzen 3000 have been getting a premium treatment from AMD’s partners such as ASUS and MSI, and AMD’s future architectures for both its CPUs and GPUs are promised to keep the pressure on both Nvidia and Intel.
Speaking of Nvidia, Barron’s actually removed Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang off of its “World’s Best CEOs” list because the company “has disappointed on new Turing graphics chips, key to its gaming business.” With 7nm and Navi based GPUs on the horizon, AMD is continuing to advance on gaming consoles, mobile devices, and displays with its FreeSync technology. It seems that the worst case for AMD is that Navi succeeds everywhere but the desktop.