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Former ATI CEO resigns from AMD

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  • AMD
  • ATI
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July 10, 2007 5:09:28 PM

Quote:
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. said Tuesday Dave Orton, the former president and chief executive officer of ATI Technologies, resigned as executive vice president, effective the end of July.


http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/070710/advanced_micro_devices_vp_resignation.html?.v=1

Very interesting. I'd love to have a sit-down chat with Dave to pick his brain regarding what's going on at AMD right now. I'm guessing much more will be coming from him on the development in the coming weeks though.

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July 10, 2007 5:30:51 PM

Well, thats one way for AMD to squeeze a few more pennies
July 10, 2007 8:16:07 PM

Quote:
i don't know enough about it to know if it is significant or not but judging by how he was former president and CEO of ATI and now only a exec. vice president i would guess he has been preparing to leave for a while. If that were the case then it wouldn't be that big a deal.


Agreed, that's one way of looking at it. Although, I would be a little surprised if that has been the plan for a while since being the former CEO and President of ATI should have given him a pretty good bargaining position to secure something longer-term.

Here's a few quesitons/thoughts along these lines:

1) If things were going well, why would he want to leave?
2) If he had been planning to leave shortly after the acquisition, I would think AMD would want to know about it as soon as possible since ATI was "his area of expertise" and keeping him around would likely be in their best interest.
3) Wonder if the latest ATI/AMD video card release damaged his long-term relationship with AMD?
4) Since he's leaving, I wonder what kind of non-compete clauses are in place to keep him from taking his know-how to a competitor.

In any light, this is a pretty high profile move with relative significace IMO. It'll be interesting to see what comes of this in the next couple of days.

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July 10, 2007 10:39:10 PM

bixplus said:
Agreed, that's one way of looking at it. Although, I would be a little surprised if that has been the plan for a while since being the former CEO and President of ATI should have given him a pretty good bargaining position to secure something longer-term.

Here's a few quesitons/thoughts along these lines:

1) If things were going well, why would he want to leave?
2) If he had been planning to leave shortly after the acquisition, I would think AMD would want to know about it as soon as possible since ATI was "his area of expertise" and keeping him around would likely be in their best interest.
3) Wonder if the latest ATI/AMD video card release damaged his long-term relationship with AMD?
4) Since he's leaving, I wonder what kind of non-compete clauses are in place to keep him from taking his know-how to a competitor.

In any light, this is a pretty high profile move with relative significace IMO. It'll be interesting to see what comes of this in the next couple of days.


Those are good questions, and Ive been wondering a few of those myself. Im also wondering if he had one those now so popular 'safety net' clauses, and what if any compensation he was given.
July 11, 2007 9:04:56 AM

turpit said:
Those are good questions, and Ive been wondering a few of those myself. Im also wondering if he had one those now so popular 'safety net' clauses, and what if any compensation he was given.


The really interesting thing is the timing.

Orton's resignation was announced one week before AMD's special shareholders meeting next Monday. 2Q07 financial statement will also be released that day (7/16/07). Just a hunch, but I'm guessing that these events are linked.

I'm wondering if AMD will make an announcement about restructuring, including possible layoffs. If layoffs impact former ATI employees, then Orton may've resigned because he didn't like the direction to company was going in.
July 11, 2007 11:37:31 AM

easyg said:
The really interesting thing is the timing.

Orton's resignation was announced one week before AMD's special shareholders meeting next Monday. 2Q07 financial statement will also be released that day (7/16/07). Just a hunch, but I'm guessing that these events are linked.

I'm wondering if AMD will make an announcement about restructuring, including possible layoffs. If layoffs impact former ATI employees, then Orton may've resigned because he didn't like the direction to company was going in.



Yeah, after the Q1 debacle, its going to be very interesting to see what Q2's results were, and what comes out of that share holders meeting.
July 11, 2007 11:40:02 AM

bixplus said:
Agreed, that's one way of looking at it. Although, I would be a little surprised if that has been the plan for a while since being the former CEO and President of ATI should have given him a pretty good bargaining position to secure something longer-term.

Here's a few quesitons/thoughts along these lines:

1) If things were going well, why would he want to leave?
2) If he had been planning to leave shortly after the acquisition, I would think AMD would want to know about it as soon as possible since ATI was "his area of expertise" and keeping him around would likely be in their best interest.
3) Wonder if the latest ATI/AMD video card release damaged his long-term relationship with AMD?
4) Since he's leaving, I wonder what kind of non-compete clauses are in place to keep him from taking his know-how to a competitor.

In any light, this is a pretty high profile move with relative significace IMO. It'll be interesting to see what comes of this in the next couple of days.



I think he wanted to leave anyway but stood until the the transition is over. Now that the GPUs are done and ATI is firmly integrated into AMD, he leaves. Nothing unusual in my eyes.
That´s my take on it and purely speculative though.
a b à CPUs
July 11, 2007 12:37:04 PM

When you drive a ship, and someone buys the ship and puts another driver in place, there is not a lot left going for you. You become a very expensive decoration which they will not keep on paying for, for very long. Whether he finally just decided enough, or they gave him a deal to walk, (which is normally what happens) no matter what he, or anyone of us would have liked to believe, his job as CEO, or anything else at AMD was over the day AMD bought ATI.
July 11, 2007 6:34:14 PM

jitpublisher said:
When you drive a ship, and someone buys the ship and puts another driver in place, there is not a lot left going for you. You become a very expensive decoration which they will not keep on paying for, for very long. Whether he finally just decided enough, or they gave him a deal to walk, (which is normally what happens) no matter what he, or anyone of us would have liked to believe, his job as CEO, or anything else at AMD was over the day AMD bought ATI.


Yes, very good point. Though, there are times when it's in the best interest of the buying company to retain high profile folks in order to protect IP. I bet Dave could be a dangerous man for the highest bidder. :) 
July 11, 2007 7:30:58 PM

I worked briefly for the IT department of a trucking company and upon hire I had to sign a 3-year non-comp agreement. I bring this up because, with a company as big and AMD and ATI, I really doubt they didn't have him sign a more elaborate agreement. I doubt he will be working with the competition any time soon.

I do wonder if he is leaving because he doesn't like not being the top dog anymore. Its common for the CEO of a company that was purchased to accept having to be second and report to someone. He probably stayed so the transition would be easier for all involved, shareholders and ATI employees mainly. Shareholders commonly get nervous (especially with AMD struggling) and employees get scared about job security and some leave to get that security.

Should be interesting to see what comes out of the shareholders meeting, I believe my cousin plans to attend.
July 11, 2007 10:51:38 PM

Personaly I think he left because of two reasons:

1) From being Top1 in his company he became Top(?), in other words - senior executive of one branch. In most cases its not easy to adjust.

2) R600 was more or less fiasco, and it was his responsibility. Media and end-users didnt accepted his last product very well, partners werent happy either. Do you think there wasnt any pressure within ATI and later in AMD? Ruiz probably had hotline with Orton every few days, and it wasnt about how sweet things are with Radeons :) 
July 11, 2007 11:00:32 PM

bixplus said:

Here's a few quesitons/thoughts along these lines:

1) If things were going well, why would he want to leave?


As far as we know, things were very bad with R600, just recently got slightly better due to AMD backing and very fast push to 65nm. ATI itself couldnt have done it in such short time on their own.

bixplus said:

2) If he had been planning to leave shortly after the acquisition, I would think AMD would want to know about it as soon as possible since ATI was "his area of expertise" and keeping him around would likely be in their best interest.

And AMD kept him for almost a year till merger was more or less over. Now all AMD needs is ATI engineers delivering R650, R700, etc., while Orton was manager, not inventor. I guess AMD have enough managers on their own :) 

bixplus said:

3) Wonder if the latest ATI/AMD video card release damaged his long-term relationship with AMD?


You mean since the R600 "launch"? Probably yes, but we will never know.

bixplus said:

4) Since he's leaving, I wonder what kind of non-compete clauses are in place to keep him from taking his know-how to a competitor.


You can bet your bottom dollar there is pretty strict clause about it, simply cant be otherwise.
July 12, 2007 12:48:46 AM

bixplus said:
Quote:
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. said Tuesday Dave Orton, the former president and chief executive officer of ATI Technologies, resigned as executive vice president, effective the end of July.


http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/070710/advanced_micro_devices_vp_resignation.html?.v=1

Very interesting. I'd love to have a sit-down chat with Dave to pick his brain regarding what's going on at AMD right now. I'm guessing much more will be coming from him on the development in the coming weeks though.



I would say that this means nothing. Do you know how many people change jobs on a regular basis. :hello: 

July 12, 2007 3:11:07 AM

I think AMD dug him a grave by stripping down the RD600 chipset to be weaker than the original prototype that ATI showed pre-merger.
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