Raja Koduri, the senior vice president and chief architect of AMD's Radeon Technologies Group, is taking an extended leave of absence from the company. As first reported by Fudzilla and confirmed in a follow-up by PC Perspective, Koduri will be taking the majority of the fourth quarter of 2017 off "to spend time with [his] family." According to the internal email that PC Perspective obtained, Koduri will begin his leave on September 25 and return sometime in December. AMD CEO Lisa Su will be taking over the captain's chair in Koduri's stead. We've asked AMD for comment and we'll update this article if we hear back.
In his email, Koduri says he "used up a lot of family credits" in bringing Vega to market, that he had been "contemplating [this leave] for a while now," and notes that "there was never a good time to do this." The fourth quarter of 2017 will apparently be a quiet one for the Radeon Technologies Group, so it would seem Koduri and AMD's executive team felt this was the least-worst time for him to restore his familial credit score. Given the complexity of the Vega GPU and the challenges involved in launching its various implementations, we have little doubt that Koduri could do with some R&R.
Although his email clearly states the rationale for this move, some will inevitably question Koduri's future with AMD in light of the drawn-out and turbulent launch of Vega products. There's always the possibility of a shake-up in boardroom dealings like these, but we see little room for that in Koduri's message. The RTG honcho does say he'll be rebalancing his responsibilities upon his return in December, but that could be as much a sign of a burgeoning division with many mouths to feed as it could be of anything else. Koduri's letter promises "product excitement" in 2018, so we look forward to learning more upon his return.