Starting today, we’re introducing a new section on BSN*, which is the executive profile. Over the course of next couple of weeks, we are going to feature executives that made the difference during 2011. Our articles will focus not just on the spotlight positions in the company, but also on the key positions that make the difference between the company winning or failing to supply the market.
One such position is the head of Distribution Channel. While the companies have different names for this position, the role is essentially the same – Channel is the bond between with design engineering, production, sales and marketing. For our first article, we have selected Mr. David J. Kenyon, whose official title is Corporate Vice President at Worldwide Channel Marketing unit inside Advanced Micro Devices. David is also serving as a member of Board of Directors for Greenlights, consulting organization for non-profit companies. When we start summarizing 2011 and compare it to 2010, 2009 and before, it is clear that 2011 is a landmark year for AMD.
In the past, AMD was often criticized by the channel for lack of involvement with the companies that actually sell their products. A pretty good reason for that came from the fact that AMD had four separate channel programs, and not a single one had a decent budget: ATI Radeon Program, AMD Alliance Program, AMD Solution Provider Program and the AMD Channel Provider Program.
David J. Kenyon came to AMD from Sun Microsystems and over the past 24 months, transformed the company’s channel program. Even though David faced many challenges by the former management, the company reorganized its channel operations within a single business unit, covering CPU, GPU, APU and Chipset product lines, feeding them into the Consumer, Enterprise and Embedded markets. For example, in the summer of 2010, AMD did not had responsible persons for the Embedded market, while the number of design wins in 2011 is quite interesting.
AMD’s Channel pointman led the company’s product supply unit transform from a single-source operation (where all the chips came to channel from packaging facilities in Malaysia) into multiple operations. As we all know, the integration of ATI Technologies and separate distribution channel into the main company did not happen for years after the acquisition was complete.
In 2011, AMD introduced and effectively sold out all of its production from CPU, GPU and APU standpoint. According to our sources in the channel itself, AMD is feeding the channel vendors as soon as chips are coming from the manufacturing lines, reducing the number of inventory days to a bare minimum.
Fusion System Architecture received a lot of accolades from the channel and press, and we’re seeing the transformation from empty press releases citing design wins which only launched in a limited amount of markets to design wins which are available throughout the globe.
When investigating AMD’s Channel, we found that AMD’s Fusion Partner Program (launched few quarters ago) members achieved 99% of sales goals and increased the number of vendors that sell both the CPU and the GPU by 66%. Furthermore, the number of Top Tier partners increased by 56%, and AMD now sells products to nine out of ten biggest PC vendors. The growth mostly comes from high growth markets, which don’t feature entrenched brand perception, but rather demand the very "best bang for buck".
We congratulate David J. Kenyon and his team for being the "Brightest Side of Distribution Channel Business for 2011".