Advanced Micro Devicessaid Dirk Meyer has resigned as president, CEO and director and will be succeeded on an interim basis by CFO Thomas Seifert.
The change will accelerate AMD's ability to "establish market leadership and generate superior financial returns," said a statement by Bruce Claflin, the chairman of AMD's board of directors.
Meyer's resignation was announced after the market close. AMD stock fell in after-market trading. (Click here for latest quote).
"I think investors will be a little bit surprised by this," Craig Berger, an analyst at FBR Capital, told CNBC. "I think Dirk has done a fairly good job from what I can tell as an outsider."
The computer chip maker also announced some preliminary results for its fourth quarter, saying revenue increased 2 percent sequentially to approximately $1.65 billion, with gross margin of about 45 percent. AMD plans to release its final results for the quarter after market close on Jan. 20.
A CEO Search Committee has been formed to begin the search for a new CEO, the company said in a press release.
"Dirk became CEO during difficult times. He successfully stabilized AMD while simultaneously concluding strategic initiatives," said Claflin. "However, the Board believes we have the opportunity to create increased shareholder value over time. This will require the company to have significant growth, establish market leadership and generate superior financial returns. We believe a change in leadership at this time will accelerate the company's ability to accomplish these objectives."
AMD is the No.2 maker of PC microprocessors, behind Intel Corp <INTC.O>, whose chips are used in more than 80 percent of the world's PCs.
—Reuters contributed to this report.