Henri Richard explains why AMD failed to gain more marketshare

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Chad Boga

Dec 30, 2009

Intel: AMD Execs Cited Its Failings, Not Intel Tactics

Some highlights from the former AMD VP Henri Richard:

Intel cites, among other things, internal statements in 2004 by Henri Richard–then AMD’s top sales exec and now a senior executive with Freescale Semiconductor – that a person looking at the situation “with an objective set of eyes” would never buy AMD chips.

“I certainly would never buy AMD for a personal system if I wasn’t working here.”

Some of Richard’s other comments are redacted, but he goes on in the document to rail against AMD selling only microprocessor chips themselves, and not a “platform” of those products and accessory chip sets, as Intel does.

He described that AMD strategy as “pathetic,” for “exposing a partial story, particularly in the commercial segment, that is clearly inferior to Intel’s, if we want to be honest with ourselves.”

He added that AMD is saddled with a reputation that “we’re cheap, less reliable, lower quality consumer type product.”

The Intel document cites similar admissions from other AMD executives, some of which are also blacked out in the document. But one theme is AMD’s execution problems, including those that resulted when it landed Dell as a chip customer after years of failures–resulting in problems delivering chips to other customers.


But I guess it is just easier for the fanboys to blame Intel for everything and deny that AMD had many shortcomings that prevented them from getting the marketshare the fanboys thought they should have been able to do.

Now just as Henri Richard implored his co-workers to be honest with themselves, perhaps now a few AMD propagandists on this forum could try doing that too.


Sep 2, 2008
It appears that the reason for AMD's failings is having this guy employed at all, let alone as a VP.

I mean, in 2004, who "would never buy AMD chips?" Really? Even people who prefer Intel can admit that Athlon 64 was fantastic (released in 2003, a VP had to have known they were great for some time before release).


Dec 26, 2007

OH NOES: An apparently disgruntled sales executive expressed his opinion in internal documents of which we can see some of the non-redacted quotes!

I guess we'll all just have to believe everything that Intel has mentioned that he said.

Anybody that owns anything AMD should immediately abandon their hardware based the what this sales executive said. Because we know that all sales executives are irrefutable sources of knowledge. (And he apparently wasn't frustrated about anything such as not having a platform at that time... these type of people are never known to exaggerate things to make points they think are important.)

Actually if this is one of Intels main defenses in their court case... they are in a heap-o-trouble. EDIT: No wonder they paid AMD off to close the other court case.


Jul 4, 2008
I don't trust the rants of a bitter ex-employee. There may be some pieces of truth to it but if I am given the choice to accept or reject entirely, then reject it I would.
Their problem in that era was not perceived quality. It was keeping their orders filled in a timely manner and if he was their top sales exec, he was probably to blame for promises made that couldn't be kept.


Sep 15, 2009
The AMD marketing department is weak. I'm brazilian, and here, the stores sale 90% of intel and 10% of amd hardware. Even if it has celeron x phenom-2 x4, intel's marketing led to believe that his products are better than all others from amd.

Here, only the guys who work in IT knows that is not true.
First, AMD had an outstanding product back in 2004 (I chose AMD over Intel all day long).

Second, it sounds to me based on the very limited amount of quotations here, that this guy was pointing to marketing problems as the issue. Intel had CPUs, and chipsets to go along with them, which in some aspects is both a production and marketing move. They were selling a "whole product" so to speak. So I can understand this guy's point of view I suppose.

Third, I think we have to keep in mind that the general computer using public does not understand, let alone care to know, the technical details that the average Tom's reader does. We buy Intel or AMD because of technical data that proves one to be better, faster, cheaper, more reliable, etc. However, John Q Public goes into Best Buy, or Gateway, or where ever and buys what's available.


Dec 12, 2007
There are a couple of reasons why AMD failed to gain more marketshare and this is not one of them.

Here are some in no paticular order.

AMD did a terrible job marketing. Or just flat out didnt market at all to be honest.

It is said that AMD couldnt produce enough chips to gain market share. I do not agree with that myself though.

The entire Intel antitrust behavior.

AMD's chips where not cheap at the time. They where flat out expensive up until c2d came out.

Sadly to this day AMD still doesnt advertise. Even if AMD had the performance crown now like in 04 I still see them keeping the same market share until they advertise. People who are not tech savy just have no Idea who or WTF AMD is. People who walk into a store to buy a computer are most likely leaving with a Intel system simply because that is the name brand they know. People like most of us on the forums(Intel and AMD fanboys excluded) will buy which ever is better or a better value and so on. But we make up a very small amount of the market..

Bottom line. Intel is guilty as hell. But that is not the sole or even the main purpose for AMD not having market share IMHO. If there are adds on TV for them blankets with sleeves but zero adds for AMD that is a big problem. Truthfully I dont ever recall a single add fro AMD on tv. But there have been adds for products for spray on hair of all things.


Oct 29, 2009

+1 on that...

I got so many AMD computers I won't go around listing them all but my point is the cpu is anything but unreliable or crap quality.

I am an I.T.
I play videogames like Company of Heroes, Fallout3, GTA4 with a Phenom9950 @ 2.73Ghz + GTX260
It runs everything FLAWLESSLY at 1920x1080

My point is that most users do not require an Intel I5 for regular use and AMD's have always been more cost effective... Always better performance per dollar...

Only a select few will spend a crazy amount for Crossfire/SLI configurations of 200$ cards to require anything better then a PhenomII...

Yes it performs much more impressive frame rates but... people who have the money to throw on a PC like that for games are a minority in the real world.

Hell... most people are "Idiots" (in the computer world) and get their overpriced Compaq from futureshop with some Q9300 CPU with 4 gigs ram, 500Gig drive and a 300W Cheapass PSU.

So if anything I blame a really crappy Sales VP.

Intel = High end Candy only required for Serious tasks...

Henri Richard is a failior as a Sales VP and as a loyal employee.

I think in the long run there will be more Compaq/Dell/Whatever AMD's and they well sell.... Hopefully Ill see some AMD Add's someday.

have to agree on that one. If AMD would advertise, they may get notice more by the general public.


They do advertise.

Just intel advertises more.

Not to mention Intel as almost universal brand recognition.

AMD advertises now.

They support the Battlecast Primetime Command and Conquer show.

Haven't seen any advertisements on tv's. (at least here in ohio that is)


In other news, Pat Gelsinger told me that intel kick baby seals for fun instead of bowling.
OK, the list
1 2004, who had the best processor then?
2The Intel document cites similar admissions from other AMD executives, some of which are also blacked out in the document. But one theme is AMD’s execution problems, including those that resulted when it landed Dell as a chip customer after years of failures–resulting in problems delivering chips to other customers.
Gee, wonder exactly what took them so long to land Dell?
3 The FTCs account of Paul Otellinis future for AMD, wanting them to be percieved as cheap, from the back of shanghai street deals , maybe PO is Henri Richard?
4 No, Henri Richard was a hockey player, and did quite well

5 And who claimed Intel had the best lawyers? CMoooooonnnn Maaaannnn
AMD decided to sell off one of its Fabs when Athlon X2s were at the height of demand, causing shortages and upsetting many smaller firms. Some of the executives also made the decision to delay the transition to 65nm because they wanted to keep selling their high in demand 90nm parts, which threw off the schedule for the original Phenom and is one of the reasons AMD is in the position it is today.

Make no mistake that Intel's anti competitive actions have greatly hurt AMD. Still, AMD didn't do itself any favors by shooting itself in the foot. I still feel they are only now recovering from the mistakes of the 90nm Athlon X2 days.
No, they arent looking back, as those people are gone, much like whats happening to Intel now, and sooner or later, theyll recognize that PO has to go.
If we actually knew all the decision making, of which somehow Intel is privy to, or is hinting at, you take a job, if youre not happy, leave,
What AMD did have was the best chip in those days, where was Henri Richard then? Dissing it, if true?
If Intel has a huge marketshare, why hasnt it grown to almost exclusivity under PO? Especaially add in the "rbates" and these so called AMD failures/decisions.
Now, you do the math, which one adds up the best? I think 3 international entities already dd, and found Intel guilty, with more in the wings.


Dell were only selling cheap trash back then clearly. Now it's expensive trash. :D


Dec 12, 2007

So now you consider them running ads by putting a advertisement on some online show about a video game(least I think that is video game)? AMD fails miserably at marketing. I take that back. They do not even market at all.

I do recall AMD on tv now. One of them channels like QVC had a tech hr and they where selling a AMD based system on it.

I want to be in charge of marketing for AMD. Be a nice job to have. Paid vacation 24/7 365 days a year for a decade.
Intel cites, among other things, internal statements in 2004 by Henri Richard–then AMD’s top sales exec
The Intel document cites similar admissions from other AMD executives
an AMD spokesman, declined comment on the remarks cited by Intel

C'mon, seriously, some blog without citing real resources claims that Intel possesses a document where an AMD exec talks trash about the company he worked for.

Puh-leez! And here I thought that this was going to real news.

Pardon me while I take this with a pound of salt...


Apr 14, 2009
It's a good thing Richards is no longer the vp of AMD, I wouldn't want someone around that had no faith in the company and failed to showcase the advantages of the Athlon 64 when it was clearly better than the P4's.


Mar 29, 2006

I didn't know the Wall Street Journal was Just some blog?
It must be said that when the comments were made, this was no disgruntled ex-employee. The quotes are from internal documents where the guy was trying to whip the company into a different tactical approach.

There's no denying that the overwhelming "Joe Public", man on the street mindset is that Intel makes the best products and AMD makes the good value products......"Back in the day" (not mine, my dad's), they'd be Cadillac and Chevy.

AMD / ATI seems reluctant to pounce when they got the edge. Look at the Verizon / AT &T commercial war going on pouring lots of add dollars to gain mindshare of who got the best what. ATI is sitting on the performance crown and the company isn't cranking up the ad revenue yelling at the top of their lungs "Hey, we're on top". If I was the VP of marketing at ATI, I'd be throwing ad dollars left and right while nViida is not in a position to answer. What are they saving it for ? March....what's the ad gonna say then ? "Hey, we're not as fast, but we're a better value". That's the image this guy is complaining about.

If it were me I'd be making commercials with ATI execs throwing up the No. 1 sign and saying, "hey we won this round, I'm going to Disneyland !"

AMD surely has been screwed by Intel's marketing tactics just as all MS competitors were screwed in the same manner. When DR DOS was a competitor, MS went to a new pricing structure.....$29.95 for DOS and Windows ..... $44.95 for Windows alone. Intel pulled similar tactics and it's god to see them finally nailed for it but I think they'd be in a lot better position if the AMD's marketing department grew a set of cahoneys.


Dec 12, 2007
There's no denying that the overwhelming "Joe Public", man on the street mindset is that Intel makes the best products and AMD makes the good value products......"Back in the day" (not mine, my dad's), they'd be Cadillac and Chevy.

Joe Public does not know that. They do not know anything about AMD at all. They don't know anything really about Intel either. What they do know is the Intel name due to marketing(tv commercials).
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