AMD persuades former Middle East boss to return
Gaith Kadir is back with the CPU vendor after answering a call from the company’s new management to restore its fortunes in the region
AMD’s former Middle East chief Gaith Kadir is back with the CPU vendor after answering a call from the company’s new management to restore its fortunes in the region.
Kadir left AMD last February, less than a year after switching to a strategic accounts role when the vendor brought in Gautam Srivastava as VP for the region. However, Srivastava’s reign proved short-lived and now the vendor has asked Kadir to return to the fold.
“As part of the AMD global reorganisation, and Dirk Meyer becoming CEO of the company, I was asked to come back to lead the Middle East, Africa and Turkey region as managing director, which was really the position I started in when I moved from the States to Dubai four years ago,” explained Kadir.
“AMD’s direction and product line has never been stronger, which is a great thing to see, but I am sure some might have felt that AMD disappeared from the market and that is one of the reasons why I was asked to come back,” he added.
Kadir is vowing to “aggressively” drive AMD’s brand in the channel and reinforce its commitment to the Middle East region, particularly now Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala owns an 8% stake in the company.
Forging stronger ties with the public sector remains his immediate priority, however. “The number one focus is really showing commitment to governments throughout the Middle East and Africa, and educating buyers to help open tenders to fair competition.”
As well as working with global partners such as HP, Toshiba and Sun to promote its offerings among enterprises, Kadir maintains the vendor seeks to strengthen ties with the regional PC integrator community.
“That is a major focus and channel for us because many countries and governments want to continue supporting their local assemblers,” he said. “They have their place in the market and it is a priority for us to support them too. In the Middle East we have one of the leading assemblers, DTK, carrying major products from AMD and it has a great market share on AMD. And in Egypt we have about six or seven different major names. The government actually insists on buying local machines and brands to support the local industry so they are very important.”
AMD employs around 15 staff in the MEA region, split between the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. Turkey has also been recently added to the Middle East office’s list of responsibilities having previously been handled from Europe.
Kadir claims the recent announcement that AMD plans to axe 1,100 jobs in a bid to reduce costs will not run to the Middle East. “This region is not affected because of the growth we are planning for and the geographic coverage we provide,” he said.
Meanwhile, his appointment means that acting Middle East boss Abdullah Saqqa will return to the job of managing distribution and channel sales.