Here's a fun bit of alternate history for you: what if AMD had never bought ATI? According to an interesting story by Forbes, the company might have paired up with Nvidia, instead—and gotten a change in leadership for good measure.
Quoting a former AMD employee, the publication says ATI wasn't the only company AMD approached about a merger prior to the July 2006 deal. In fact, it wasn't even the first. Nvidia was AMD's first choice, Forbes says, but Nvidia CEO and founder Jen-Hsun Huang "insisted on being chief executive of the combined company."
AMD CEO Hector Ruiz didn't want to acquire his way out of a job. And so ATI it was.
Perhaps things turned out for the best. Post-merger, the former ATI team managed to execute in an impressively timely and consistent fashion. Nvidia, meanwhile, faced delays with its first DirectX 11 products and ran into financial troubles a few years back. One can't help but wonder if AMD might be better off with a tenacious leader like Huang at the helm, though. (Thanks to Fudzilla for the link.)
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