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AMD Gaming Executive Departs, Joins Nvidia

By - Source: WSJ | B 64 comments

It is no secret that AMD's board of directors and new executive ranks have plans to change the company into something very different that what the company once was. However, the pace at which former key staff is departing is rather surprising.

Bob Feldstein, vice president of business development and in charge of AMD's Boston Design Center, has left the company and is joining Nvidia as vice president of technology licensing at Nvidia. During his time at AMD, he was responsible for deals that included the integration of ATI graphics into the Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360. Feldstein is the next in line of several other high profile departures, including John Bruno, Godfrey Cheng, as well as higher level executives that included Rick Bergman and Nigel Dessau.

While Bergman and Dessau are rumored to have been layoffs, and Bruno was accepted as a casualty during the layoff round late last year, key staff such as Cheng and Feldstein went to rivals or moved deeper into the field AMD is trying to reach. Bruno is now at Apple, Bergman is CEO of Synaptics, a developer of human interface solutions. Cheng, formerly a director in AMD's gaming division, is vice president of marketing at Synaptics.

 

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  • 28 Hide
    slabbo , July 24, 2012 9:12 PM
    if they are just gutting the management, that's fine. Just don't touch the smart engineers designing the good stuff from the company or they'll go belly up fast!
  • 23 Hide
    dayblade , July 24, 2012 9:21 PM
    yeah - if you see their stock price today - they have been on downward slope all summer. Not good as I too have been a fan since the K6-III days. They have been solid products up until the tablet/mobile phone craze - and now AMD seems to have lost their way. Really hope the new regime can turn this around but sure seems like alot of their resources are being shown or walking out the door.... :( 
  • 17 Hide
    mamailo , July 24, 2012 11:09 PM
    slabboif they are just gutting the management, that's fine. Just don't touch the smart engineers designing the good stuff from the company or they'll go belly up fast!


    Great tech with no marketing team to match is doomed to failure.
    Just remember the Commodore Amiga.5 years ahead of anything in graphics , a whole decade in video and still did not sell fast to keep the company afloat.
Other Comments
  • 28 Hide
    slabbo , July 24, 2012 9:12 PM
    if they are just gutting the management, that's fine. Just don't touch the smart engineers designing the good stuff from the company or they'll go belly up fast!
  • -4 Hide
    uglynerdman , July 24, 2012 9:13 PM
    amd is no longer AMD just in name only. crappy products galore. no future in anything. Dont think im a random hater i been a amd fan since k6- phenom. just they fell off and theyre going into a very unprofittable direction also. seeya amd.
  • 6 Hide
    sp0nger , July 24, 2012 9:18 PM
    So if they dont want to compete with Intel, and thier changing thier GPU buisness too, where are they planning on finding revenue? Don't they primarily do CPU/GPU? While i dont think Nvidia is challenging them on the budget GPU side of things too much Intel definitely is with thier budget CPU's.

    in the words of p'diddy
    They need to think that stream, they need to thinkin it the f' up
  • 10 Hide
    sp0nger , July 24, 2012 9:19 PM
    Actually, Nvidia has done a good job at putting pressure on AMD with thier lower cost GPU's too so maybe AMD is all around F'd
  • 23 Hide
    dayblade , July 24, 2012 9:21 PM
    yeah - if you see their stock price today - they have been on downward slope all summer. Not good as I too have been a fan since the K6-III days. They have been solid products up until the tablet/mobile phone craze - and now AMD seems to have lost their way. Really hope the new regime can turn this around but sure seems like alot of their resources are being shown or walking out the door.... :( 
  • 14 Hide
    dudewitbow , July 24, 2012 9:33 PM
    sp0ngerSo if they dont want to compete with Intel, and thier changing thier GPU buisness too, where are they planning on finding revenue? Don't they primarily do CPU/GPU? While i dont think Nvidia is challenging them on the budget GPU side of things too much Intel definitely is with thier budget CPU's. in the words of p'diddyThey need to think that stream, they need to thinkin it the f' up

    their attention is making affordable chips in a non normal environment outside of gaming, like powering up screens on things like casinos and such rather than push for the fastest everything.
  • 0 Hide
    teh_chem , July 24, 2012 9:34 PM
    Was AMD officially selected as the gpu provider for the next xbox and nintendo consoles? I remember reading "rumors" but I can't recall if they were confirmed.

    Interesting that this guy went from the director of the gaming division at AMD to the VP of tech licensing.
  • 1 Hide
    dudewitbow , July 24, 2012 9:36 PM
    teh_chemWas AMD officially selected as the gpu provider for the next xbox and nintendo consoles? I remember reading "rumors" but I can't recall if they were confirmed.Interesting that this guy went from the director of the gaming division at AMD to the VP of tech licensing.


    for the WiiU, its most likely going to be an amd card(whether if its based of a 4870 or 6770 rumor i still dont know), for the other 2, they are still under the hood about how its actually going to turn out and nothing is totally official as they still have years before their release as nintendo has to prep for a holiday season during November release.
  • 1 Hide
    airborne11b , July 24, 2012 10:38 PM
    I agree with Otacon72. The engineers failed. AMD used to be amazing and competitive back in the slocket days! Now they are a joke. They haven't made a decent CPU in over 5 years now, maybe longer. Their GPUs are decent enough, but you can get a better performing, better supported Nvidia GPU for $30 to $50 less than AMD's offerings... The engineers should have been fired a long time ago.

    And for those who missed the memo, AMD CEO called it quits months ago. Said they were going to "redirect" their focus on low-end market and stop trying to compete with intel in the enthusiast / high end market.
  • 1 Hide
    gilgamex , July 24, 2012 10:44 PM
    uglynerdmanamd is no longer AMD just in name only. crappy products galore. no future in anything. Dont think im a random hater i been a amd fan since k6- phenom. just they fell off and theyre going into a very unprofittable direction also. seeya amd.


    You must be a random hater because the entire 4000, 5000, 6000 & 7000 series of graphics cards must have completely gone over your head. You could argue Nvidia would eventually top them or be a bit better from the getgo, but they are fantastic cards for their day. A 4870 was a value steal, 5870 held the crown for a solid amount of time and the following 6-7 series were always competitive in most all price ranges.
  • 5 Hide
    vittau , July 24, 2012 10:54 PM
    airborne11bTheir GPUs are decent enough, but you can get a better performing, better supported Nvidia GPU for $30 to $50 less than AMD's offerings...
    I think you got this reversed (for the most part).
  • 5 Hide
    raedwulf , July 24, 2012 11:01 PM
    airborne11bTheir GPUs are decent enough, but you can get a better performing, better supported Nvidia GPU for $30 to $50 less than AMD's offerings...


    I can't speak for the bigger markets, but here I South Africa where I am the ATI cards win hands down on value for money. Their cards outpace Nvidia cards by a full step at each price point.
  • -3 Hide
    megamanx00 , July 24, 2012 11:05 PM
    otacon72Those same engineers that have let Intel beat AMD down so far they are irreverent in the CPU market? They should've been the first one to get canned.


    Actually that has more to do with management and board decisions. The beginning of the decline can be attributed to the leadership of Hector Ruiz when AMD put off 65nm production. That action alone gave Intel time to push out the Core 2 Duo while AMD had to rush to put out their 65nm Athlons that were actually slower than their predecessors.

    The good people AMD has let go of or has had jump ship include ol ATI team members including the guy that brought us Eyefinity, and Dirk Meyer the one that brought us the original K7 architecture. Dirk was setting the place on the right path before they gave him the boot because he didn't want to focus on tablets till they got all their other shit in order.
  • 17 Hide
    mamailo , July 24, 2012 11:09 PM
    slabboif they are just gutting the management, that's fine. Just don't touch the smart engineers designing the good stuff from the company or they'll go belly up fast!


    Great tech with no marketing team to match is doomed to failure.
    Just remember the Commodore Amiga.5 years ahead of anything in graphics , a whole decade in video and still did not sell fast to keep the company afloat.
  • 13 Hide
    jwcalla , July 24, 2012 11:23 PM
    NVIDIA was wise to get into the SoC market. Integrated GPUs from Intel will continue to squeeze out the low end, and there isn't a very large market for high-end discrete GPUs (in relative terms).
  • 14 Hide
    17seconds , July 24, 2012 11:33 PM
    Yet another in a long line of execs to jump ship over the past year.
  • 13 Hide
    A Bad Day , July 24, 2012 11:49 PM
    slabboif they are just gutting the management, that's fine. Just don't touch the smart engineers designing the good stuff from the company or they'll go belly up fast!


    A good company also needs good management. See Enron as an example.
  • -4 Hide
    CaedenV , July 25, 2012 12:03 AM
    otacon72Those same engineers that have let intel beat AMD down so far they are irreverent in the CPU market? They should've been the first one to get canned.

    You do not get it, the Buldozer architecture is brilliant! It is truly amazing and mindbogglingly great! What they did was re-make HT tech, but in a way where threads can run on the HT style cores without a specific command. If Intel could do this it would be a huge gamechanger for anyone who owns an i3 or i7. I cannot tell you how many programs I get so frustrated with because they simply cannot touch the resources available, meanwhile future AMD systems will not have this problem. The problem they do have is that when push came to shove the engineers were cuffed by the board who wanted a cheaper chip. They stuck with the same general idea that they wanted, but they paired it down to the point of useless by the time it made budget. If the board were to listen to their engineers then they would be better off.
  • 1 Hide
    blazorthon , July 25, 2012 12:12 AM
    sp0ngerActually, Nvidia has done a good job at putting pressure on AMD with thier lower cost GPU's too so maybe AMD is all around F'd


    No, not really. Nvidia has low-end video cards too, but their prices are far above the prices of similarly performing AMD video cards.
  • -2 Hide
    blazorthon , July 25, 2012 12:15 AM
    otacon72Those same engineers that have let intel beat AMD down so far they are irreverent in the CPU market? They should've been the first one to get canned.


    Actually, the engineers are not the problem. AMD's management hasn't been letting them do a proper job and most of their good engineers have either quit or been fired to be replaced with a large number of less skilled engineers who are designing with automated tools rather than a much more optimal transistor-by-transistor design. This hurts power efficiency by about 40%, give or take a few percent, let alone the many other implementation problems with the Bulldozer CPUs.
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