Raja Koduri, AMD's senior vice president and chief architect of the AMD Radeon Technologies Group (RTG), has announced that he is taking leave for through the fourth quarter of this year. Koduri recently went on "radio silence" immediately following the launch of the company's Vega lineup, which spawned a rash of theories on Reddit and enthusiast forums.
AMD's RTG group has faced quite a bit of criticism following the Vega launch, largely due to pricing and shortages, and the lack of a cohesive response from the company has been a bit frustrating for the enthusiast community. Many in the enthusiast community attributed Koduri's absence to the delayed AMD response. Koduri later responded with a series of tweets explaining that he was attending a wedding in India. He also addressed many of the questions raised by the community.
Last night, TweakTown reported that Koduri had taken leave through the end of the fourth quarter, which was later confirmed by PC Perspective. PC Perspective also got its mitts on Koduri's internal letter to his team outlining his reasons for taking leave, which you can find below.
AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su will step into Koduri's role during his absence, so it's obvious that RTG is in good hands. As noted in his letter, Koduri will return in December. Notably, Koduri cites a "new wave of product excitement" in early 2018 as one of the key reasons for the timing of his extended vacation, so we might have something to look forward to early next year.
Here's the full text from Koduri's memo:
You haven’t heard from me collectively in a while – a symptom not only of the whirlwind of launching Vega, but simply of the huge number of demands on my time since the formation of RTG. Looking back over this short period, it is an impressive view. We have delivered 6 straight quarters of double-digit growth in graphics, culminating in the launch of Vega and being back in high-performance. What we have done with Vega is unparalleled. We entered the high-end gaming, professional workstation and machine intelligence markets with Vega in a very short period of time. The demand for Vega (and Polaris!) is fantastic, and overall momentum for our graphics is strong.
Incredibly, we as AMD also managed to spectacularly re-enter the high-performance CPU segments this year. We are all exceptionally proud of Ryzen, Epyc and Threadripper. The computing world is not the same anymore and the whole world is cheering for AMD. Congratulations and thanks to those of you in RTG who helped see these products through. The market for high-performance computing is on an explosive growth trajectory driven by machine intelligence, visual cloud, blockchain and other exciting new workloads. Our vision of immersive and instinctive computing is within grasp. As we enter 2018, I will be shifting my focus more toward architecting and realizing this vision and rebalancing my operational responsibilities.
At the beginning of the year I warned that Vega would be hard. At the time, some folks didn’t believe me. Now many of you understand what I said. Vega was indeed hard on many, and my sincere heartfelt thanks to all of you who endured the Vega journey with me. Vega was personally hard on me as well and I used up a lot of family credits during this journey. I have decided to take a time-off in Q4 to spend time with my family. I have been contemplating this for a while now and there was never a good time to do this. Lisa and I agreed that Q4 is better than 2018, before the next wave of product excitement. Lisa will be acting as the leader of RTG during by absence. My sincere thanks to Lisa and rest of AET for supporting me in this decision and agreeing to take on additional workload during my absence.
I am looking to start my time-off on Sept 25th and return in December.
Thank you, all of you, for your unwavering focus, dedication and support over these past months, and for helping us to build something incredible. We are not done yet, and keep the momentum going!