By Susie Gharib
December 21, 2016

Black Friday and Cyber Monday were great days for Sony and Microsoft: Playstation and Xbox consoles flew off shelves. But it was also a big win for Advanced Micro Devices, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based semiconductor company that designs the chips the consoles need to make cool graphics and special effects possible.

The holiday sales pop is a remarkable accomplishment for CEO Lisa Su, who was tapped two years ago to helm the money-losing AMD. There were doubts Su could do much for a company many speculated was about to go out of business. But she turned out to be the game changer AMD needed: The company recently reported a 23% jump in quarterly revenues, it posted a small profit, and the stock has more than quadrupled since Su took charge.

Su tells Fortune’s Susie Gharib that the key to the turnaround was “focus.”

“There are so many good things to do,” she explains. “We needed to choose the things that we are really good at.” Her decision to specialize in the fast-growing game technology business, and to back away from the slow-growing PC business, really paid off.

Now Su is focusing on virtual reality. She’s predicting it will be the “biggest thing” over the next five years and she wants AMD to build on its leadership position.

“We love virtual reality,” she says. “Today there may be a couple million people using virtual reality. We’d like to see that be 100 million over the next five years.”


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