Arun Sudhaman 04 Mar 2011 // 12:00AM GMT
SUNNYVALE, CA: Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is to review its North American PR business, estimated at upwards of $3 million, putting three-year incumbent Bite Communications on alert.
It is understood that AMD issued RFPs last night, covering the full range of its PR activities, after holding talks with a handful of network agencies. The pitch follows the departures of AMD CEO Dirk Meyer and two other senior executives earlier this year, which have renewed speculation that the company is a potential acquisition target.
Meyer’s surprise resignation saw the company publicly state that it is searching for a new CEO who can “accelerate” growth. The former CEO has been credited with successfully stabilizing AMD, but some observers – including analyst firm Think Equity – believe that the company is an attractive acquisition target for other tech players such as Broadcom, Oracle and Dell.
Bite consolidated AMD’s product PR in North America in early 2008 after beginning work on the business in 2005. Ketchum was assigned corporate, although that mandate has since passed to the Next Fifteen agency.
The review covers all aspects of AMD’s PR, including corporate and product PR programs, as well as industry analyst relations support and digital/social media.
“It’s a time of transition for the company, and that’s often time to review our capabilities to ensure we are world-class on all fronts,” said AMD spokesman Drew Prairie. “We are conducting a review to select an agency partner that can help shape and position AMD’s ongoing corporate evolution as an innovative technology leader. We are looking for a strategic agency partner capable of aggressively driving creative communications activities that place AMD and our products/technologies at the heart of what is next for the computing industry.”
While one source involved in the review pegged Bite’s retainer value at approximately $3 million, it is believed that the consolidation of all communications activities will significantly increase this sum.
Bite also shares the company’s European PR with sister agency Text 100, although this business is not under review.
While AMD’s market share in the desktop sector remains solid, it has struggled in the faster-growing server, notebook and tablet/smartphone sectors against traditional rival Intel and UK competitor ARM. The company recently launched a new global marketing campaign, using the tagline “Ready. Willing. And Stable.”