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Robert Hallock to Leave AMD After 12 Years

Robert Hallock in a blue shirt.
(Image credit: AMD)

Robert Hallock, AMD's director of technical marketing, is departing the company after 12 years, he announced on LinkedIn (opens in new tab).

Hallock was a public-facing figure at the company, working with the AMD fan community on Reddit, Discord, YouTube and other platforms while also briefing the press.

"Over the years, I've had the honor and privilege of publicly teaching others about some truly stellar innovation: the Zen core family, 3D V-Cache, chiplet packaging, HBM memory, FreeSync, low-overhead graphics APIs, and much more," Hallock wrote in his post. "After working in both graphics and processors for roughly 6 years each, I've learned so much."

Hallock hasn't detailed where he'll be going next. On LinkedIn, he wrote that he would be traveling while he thinks about his next move. Hallock is one of several high-profile employees at AMD to leave in recent years.

In 2017, then Radeon chief Raja Koduri left AMD and now heads up the graphics group at Intel, including Arc. In 2018, Chris Hook, then senior director of global product marketing, left after 17 years from a career that started at ATI. That's the same year that Jim Anderson, the general manager and senior vice president of the computing and graphics group, left. (Anderson now serves as president and CEO of Lattice Semiconductor.) In 2019, another public-facing communications employee announced his departure with a tweet.

It's unclear who will take Hallock's place at AMD. AMD didn't respond to a request for comment before publication, but we'll update if we hear back. He's leaving just before the launch of AMD's Ryzen 7000 desktop processors powered by the 5 nm Zen 4 architecture. Those chips will launch on September 27, so if AMD wants a public face to explain what PC builders will get out of those chips, it will have to find someone to fill his shoes fast.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE

  • gg83
    Seems like AMD is losing an important member of the team. He stuck through some very dark times, with lots of haters and fan boys
    Reply
  • waltc3
    Just normal attrition, imo. Last couple of interviews with Hallock, I didn't think he was too happy doing the same thing over and over again with his job--I got that impression anyway--looks like I was right! Body language--is always the purveyor of much information for people who can read it. The fact that Hallock has no destination in mind leads me to think that he's considering whether to stay in this field altogether or to do something completely different.

    As far as Raja goes, I have to say that after he left AMD, AMD's GPU development and production went straight through the roof! Raja helped with RX-480, and I think that was his last contribution, and likely the most advanced he was capable of providing. I don't see AMD missing anything with Raja gone, and I suspect he had already given AMD everything he could by the time he left to go to Intel several years ago to help them with their entry-level foray into the realm of modern GPUs.

    As far as the rest of them go, I think the facts bear it out pretty well, and that is that after they left AMD, AMD went straight up like a rocket. The company is way ahead of where it was 5-6 years ago, by anyone's measure. I'm sure that a lot of people left AMD last year, but you don't know their names as they weren't publicly known, etc. Likely, lots of unknown people were hired by AMD, too. Not really news, just business as usual.

    So would it be fair to say that it was a good thing that people left AMD because they were holding the company back in some way? Of course not, and I would never say that. It simply illustrates how the fate of huge, hugely successful companies cannot be reduced to the efforts of a half-dozen people, regardless of how well known they are to the general public. So, tech journalists should be cautious when generalizing the effects of a very few company employees--they won't, by themselves, make or break a company like AMD. I felt like the author was attempting to suggest something negative about these people leaving AMD, and if he wasn't, then I surely apologize. But the fact remains that since these folks moved on to greener pastures, AMD's fortunes have markedly improved. So you can't say it's negative; you can't say it's positive, and people leaving these companies is actually commonplace.

    There's a tendency in the so-called "tech press" that I've noticed for many years and which I usually comment on, and that is that these companies are built on the work of many thousands of people, 99.9% of them completely unknown to the general public.
    Reply
  • TCA_ChinChin
    Wish him the best. Didn't know much about this tenure at AMD except what's in this article but hopefully it was amicable for everyone.
    Reply
  • suryasans
    It seems He is leaving AMD for Google.
    Reply
  • peachpuff
    gg83 said:
    Seems like AMD is losing an important member of the team. He stuck through some very dark times, with lots of haters and fan boys
    "working with the AMD fan community on Reddit, Discord, YouTube"

    Who'd want to work with those communities anyway? If he worked with Twitter too then that would be a reason to bail.
    Reply
  • BoboCoco
    Yeah.. but I heard he liked the Michael Keaton Batman so... 🤷‍♂️
    Reply
  • gg83
    peachpuff said:
    "working with the AMD fan community on Reddit, Discord, YouTube"

    Who'd want to work with those communities anyway? If he worked with Twitter too then that would be a reason to bail.
    Exactly! I have a lot of respect for him sticking through AMDs dark days. I can't handle reading Twitter "opinions" portrayed as facts!
    Reply
  • gg83
    BoboCoco said:
    Yeah.. but I heard he liked the Michael Keaton Batman so... 🤷‍♂️
    That was the best one! Well Christian Bale was really good though.
    Reply