It was redacted they said to protect the senior sales manager from problems with AMD, not as you mention for being erroneous. No-one has yet proved he is a middle-manager; as someone who works with such VPs and sales channels,product development,etc with teams in multiple regions over the years I can say it is highly unlikely the employee is as low as you deem relative to the PR (who made multiple miscommunications in their contact with Forbes). How many in-country local sales guys do you know where you work keep an eye out for a sales channel breach in Taiwan/Australia/etc on another continent and then take time to try and resolve it themselves rather than pushing it up the chain? You mention speculation, but isnt that exactly what you did as well throughout your post? Anyway the recent points from others keep ignoring one important aspect; this is against the backdrop of Scott's quote earlier on about freedom of choice for consumers/retailers and importantly said 'supporting partners' in context of greater flexibility/freedom for partners. Currently that statement-marketing strategy looks awkward but only time will tell because all the information is either conflicting or does not line up, so now we need to see what happens 3-6 months down the line. Edit: Also I do not think some appreciate just how big some of those benefits are with regards to which tier a partner sits in; which includes logistics-parts available and IHV manufacturer scheduling,financial and market incentives. Considering how restrictive the sales agreement seems to be for ASRock, it is fair to think they are on a pretty low one. This for an established core large international partner albeit currently on the motherboard side with its own sales channel agreement, but this is not entirely the same situation as a new partner.