AMD CTO Phil Hester steps down

When AMD announced that it would part with 10% of its workforce earlier this week, we didn’t quite suspect that one of those to leave would be the company’s Chief Technology Officer. Yet according to a news blurb by MarketWatch, AMD has announced that Phil Hester is stepping down as the company’s CTO and Vice President.

MarketWatch says Hester intends to pursue “other opportunities” and that his departure is effective today. Puzzingly, AMD has reportedly stated that it has no intention of replacing him. We’ll bring you more on this as it develops—stay tuned.

Update: News.com reports that, with Hester gone, the CTO’s job will be split up across AMD’s individual businesses. “As of next week, the individual CTOs will report to their business unit leaders, such as Mario Rivas, head of the processor group. One exception will be the accelerated computing initiative, which will report directly to President and COO Dirk Meyer.”

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    • Nutmeg
    • 12 years ago

    How much was his golden handshake?

    • tejas84
    • 12 years ago

    I sincerely hope AMD gets liquidated and broken up. No amount of suspect Arab money is going to save this sinking ship. The phailure Hector Ruiz deserves it but the poor souls who work under him deserve so much better.

    ATI should remain untouched and taken back over by ex ATI CEO Dave Orton and venture capitalists and Nvidia/VIA should try to buy up all the CPU Intellectual property and then we may have some good ol’ competition for Intel again.

    In fact we should all look to a merged future Nvidia/Via taking on Intel in a big way since AMD are circling the drain… I have sold my 2x 3870X2’s in disgust at the manoeuvres by Ruiz and the firing of Hester broke my camel’s back…Hello my new Nvidia 9800gx2…

      • Protip
      • 12 years ago

      Did you know Hester personally? Seems like this news item has a real impact on you.

      • Grigory
      • 12 years ago

      If AMD gets broken up we will all be effed. Yay.

      • AMDisDEC
      • 12 years ago

      Have to say Hester needed to go. The whole Barcelona delay was his domain, and he needs to take the fall for not properly managing the development/release activity.
      But I agree that Hector is the ultimate culprit in AMD’s present sad condition.
      Running Dave Orton off following the acquisition was not too smart a move. Replacing Fred Webber with Phil Hester was even dumber. Where, or did these guys go to school?

      At least give two cheers to Fred Webber’s new enterprise, MetaRam. The venture seems to be going VERY well, and his first product is being picked up and designed in by all the top tier-1 companies in their next gen products. Unfortunately, this is a high end server product, and not of much value to the average consumer.

    • Protip
    • 12 years ago

    Please notify me whenever a tech company has a high end exec leave.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 12 years ago

    Update: News.com now reports that AMD has changed their mind and appointed a man known only as /[

      • indeego
      • 12 years ago

      Not a bad idea. Might make the rest of us here look smart in his absenceg{<.<}g

        • green
        • 12 years ago

        you mean “smarter”. there are some people here you still couldn’t classify as smart after the change…

    • AMDisDEC
    • 12 years ago

    One down, two dead ducks to go…from the top down.

    AMD shareholders need to entice Jerry Sanders to come back until they get back on their feet.

    Hector Ruiz is like George Bush Jr. You give him a loaded gun, and he shoots himself in the Kahoonas.
    Since his arrival, Hector has done nothing but ruin the company.
    Sanders initiated the Opteron project with Fred Webber at the helm. Webber completed the project in excellent fashion, then left AMD because Ruiz has no leadership ability or vision. Sanders handing the company over to Ruiz was certain death.
    I expect Ruiz The Ruiner to resign or be forced out by shareholder soon. Unfortunately his replacement will be Dirk Myers who is no better.
    Woo to AMD. They could have been real contenders.

      • Deli
      • 12 years ago

      Dirk Meyer was a lead in the k7 project. He’s an excellent engineer and I think he might do a better job than Ruiz. It’s like whatever Ruiz touches goes to shit.

    • srg86
    • 12 years ago

    okay I could be totally wrong about this… but is it me or has AMD just not been the same since Jerry Sanders retired?

      • ludi
      • 12 years ago

      Jerry Sanders lead by bombast and charisma. Unfortunately, this meant that he wasn’t seen as “serious” by the mainstream players and AMD couldn’t get any credibility as a mainstream CPU supplier. Dell would never have come around with Sanders shooting his mouth off every other week.

      Ruiz was the groomed replacement for the CEO chair precisely because he was seen as more of a proper businessman. IMO the jury is still out as to whether he is a bad businessman; AMD definitely did need to get a complete platform in-house if they wanted to compete in the long run, what with mobile becoming a dominant marketspace, but economically the decision could not have been timed worse and the company seems to have overbuilt on fab space, acquiring too much debt in the process.

      • clone
      • 12 years ago

      Hector Ruiz is the better leader caught during a difficult moment of transition…. Sanders left on a High note… at the time the only real high note for AMD ever with the K7 launch…. how we forget the “somewhat similiar” industry opinion concerning AMD’s manufacturing tolerances under the Jerry Sanders leadership days.

      stop and consider how fast AMD’s ATI acquisition is beginning to turn around, products finally coming on time, in quantity and now possibly several months early.

      if true ATI’s part of AMD will not only be back in game but may very well be back on top all in less than 3 years….. they made a mistake with their first Quad core but the B3 silicon while late is quite nice and where they are losing in performance they have become creative in platforms to minimise the deficit.

      Sanders I believe lacked that level of vision.

    • UberGerbil
    • 12 years ago

    Well, if you believed that “break up AMD” rumor/proposal, this would be another step in that direction. AMD certainly doesn’t seem to be doing much to consolidate its businesses — ATI is still using TSMC for all its fabbing, etc.

      • Deli
      • 12 years ago

      why not use TMSC? they have the process down pat considering that 3800s were 3 months early and now the rv770 may be early too! it will cost AMD a LOT of money to move it in house in which they don’t have the finances to fund such a transition.

        • pluscard
        • 12 years ago

        ATI uses “bulk” silicon, where AMD uses “SOI”, explaining why TSMC still fabs all the gpus.

    • bfellow
    • 12 years ago

    So what happens to “Fusion?”

      • UberGerbil
      • 12 years ago

      Not having one guy at the top doesn’t stop a hybrid team from existing in the middle. They still have to have an advocate, though, especially when the company is cost cutting, and I don’t know how popular Fusion is in the executive suite.

    • Ryu Connor
    • 12 years ago

    q[

    • eitje
    • 12 years ago

    maybe AMD is getting out of the technology business! 😉

      • BKA
      • 12 years ago

      I sure hope not. The last thing we need is for Nvidia and Intel to double prices on the next generation of products just because there no competition.

      Not that prices are cheap right now but at least we do have a choice. No choice but one, means my PC enthusiast days will come to an end.

        • UberGerbil
        • 12 years ago

        Prices are cheap right now. If you don’t think so, you need to take a time machine back to the 80’s and 90s. (And I’m not talking just in terms of performance; you couldn’t buy any kind of working system for less than $1K then).

          • cegras
          • 12 years ago

          That’s due to technology maturation rather than competition.

            • UberGerbil
            • 12 years ago

            Where did I say anything about competition?

    • Damage
    • 12 years ago

    I’m not entirely surprised they won’t replace Hester. Surely Dirk Meyer sets the technology direction for AMD’s processor division, anyhow.

      • srg86
      • 12 years ago

      Personally I think it would be better if Dirk Mayer was back to being an enginneer, like when he headed the K7 project.

        • UberGerbil
        • 12 years ago

        Peter Principle. Smart tech companies find ways of rewarding their best engineers without shunting them into ineffectual management.

          • srg86
          • 12 years ago

          It seems to me that AMD haven’t been a smart company then, I could be wrong though.

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