AMD loses another top chip exec to Samsung

Another high-placed AMD chip executive has jumped ship. According to a report by AllThingsD, 25-year AMD veteran Michael Goddard has quietly left his post as Corporate VP of Product Design Engineering and Chief Engineer for client products. He now works at Samsung's Austin, Texas design facility as a VP and system architect.

Goddard seems to have followed in the footsteps of Pat Patla, the former head of AMD's Opteron Division. Patla had been at AMD for about nine years before defecting to Samsung in April. Patla, too, joined the new Samsung R&D center in Austin. His LinkedIn profile says he holds the title of Vice President.

Goddard's LinkedIn profile isn't public, but AllThingsD says the former AMD executive was a "deeply respected engineer" at AMD. In the 1990s, he reportedly had a close working relationship with Dirk Meyer. (Meyer served as AMD's CEO from 2008 until early 2011, when he was ousted by the company's board of directors.) Goddard's departure is "unlikely" to have been forced, AllThingsD says, adding that "people close to AMD were surprised by the move."

AMD has lost quite a lot of talent this year. Sales chief Emilio Ghilardi departed in February. Bob Feldstein, VP of Strategic Development, and Ben Williams, head of the Asia Pacific business, both left the company in July. (Feldstein went to work for Nvidia.) CFO Thomas Seifert stepped down in September, and so did Client Division chief Chris Cloran. That's not counting the 15% downsizing the company announced in October—or the layoffs and departures that took place in 2011, including the resignation of AMD Products Group head Rick Bergman.

As AllThingsD points out, AMD has also made some high-profile hires: former K8 architect and Apple chip designer Jim Keller, former HP CIO Michael Wolfe, and Mark Papermaster of IBM and Apple fame. Lately, though, we seem to be hearing more about defections and departures than new talent.

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