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Henri Richard: AMD's bad guy

At Advanced Micro Devices, talking trash about Intel is always a significant part of someone's job. For decades, it fell to founder Jerry Sanders.

The baton has since passed to Henri Richard, executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. Last year, Richard asserted that Intel had fallen behind in terms of performance, because it had become complacent. CEO Hector Ruiz sometimes complains about Intel, but lately it's usually been Richard.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Richard, at a breakfast meeting, did his duty again. He said the Intel Inside program and other marketing promotions Intel has used over the years have killed profitability for PC makers.

"The industry was saddled with a very successful marketing program that sucked all of the profit out of the industry," he said. In China, PC makers can avoid these programs and "not become a hostage."

PC makers I've talked to have actually not been critical of Intel Inside. Without it, most say, they wouldn't be able to advertise. But Richard does make snappy quotes, and AMD has said in its lawsuit that the program has hurt competition, so a judge will ultimately get to review the debate. Intel vigorously denies all of AMD's claims and says it will prove it wrong in court.

Richard also said that some notebook designs based around Intel chips and ATI graphics chips have been "shot" because AMD bought ATI. He wasn't specific on which notebooks. Sources say this will be part of its antitrust case.

And in the meantime, it makes good copy.