AMD taps new leaders for its Radeon Technologies Group

Ever since the departure of Raja Koduri as honcho of the Radeon Technologies Group, AMD CEO Lisa Su has been leading the division as it dusts itself off. Today, AMD appears to have found the new graphics leadership that it's been looking for. The company has tapped Mike Rayfield as the senior vice president and general manager and David Wang as senior vice president of engineering for the Radeon Technologies Group. Both men will report to Su.

Rayfield comes to AMD from Micron Technologies, where he was senior vice president and general management of the memory maker's mobile business unit, according to AMD's press release. Rayfield's résumé also includes a seven-year stint at Nvidia, where he was the general manager of that company's mobile business unit, as well. AMD notes that Rayfield led the team responsible for the original Nvidia Tegra SoC. He'll be tasked with "all aspects of strategy and business management" for the Radeon Technologies Group in his new role.

Wang is an ATI and AMD alumnus who will be returning to AMD from Synaptics, where he was the senior vice president of silicon systems engineering. Wang's long history with Radeon products includes work as the senior director of discrete graphics engineering at ATI and stints as the senior director of GPU silicon engineering, corporate vice president of GPU solutions engineering, and corporate vice president of product design engineering at AMD. Wang's résumé also includes design experience at LSI Logic, Axil Workstations, SGI, and ArtX. AMD says Wang will handle "all aspects of graphics engineering, including the technical strategy, architecture, hardware, and software for AMD graphics products and technologies."

Silicon design and production is a many-years-long process, so it'll be quite some time before we can assess the impact that Rayfield and Wang have on the direction of the Radeon Technologies Group. Still, this move appears to confirm that AMD has enough confidence in the future of its Radeon products to allow the separate graphics business unit that coalesced under Koduri to continue operating. We hope to hear more about Rayfield and Wang's plans for the future of Radeons soon.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    My skepticism is killing me.

    • Star Brood
    • 2 years ago

    Too bad even should they release an amazing new GPU tech we’ll never see it available/at reasonable prices.

    I hope crypto crap gets some kind of major nerf, such as government regulation making it unprofitable to use graphics cards for this kind of garbage. Instead we can have a flooded market of GPUs at half MSRP.

    • odizzido
    • 2 years ago

    If both of them take over only raj’s tasks then this could be pretty good, assuming they can cooperate properly. Two people can do a better job than one person usually.

    • the
    • 2 years ago

    And here I was hoping Damage would get that job…

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      He still has to produce Wasson units at maximum capacity!

        • Welch
        • 2 years ago

        Is that the secret sauce for Vega that will bring availability?

          • Redocbew
          • 2 years ago

          And people think they can make money by mining. Hah!

            • Anonymous Coward
            • 2 years ago

            AMD is making money by mining. Hah!

          • tipoo
          • 2 years ago

          Yes.

          As in, Wasson Units just bork mining functionality.

        • cynan
        • 2 years ago

        What? Don’t tell me AMD is working on introducing its own cryptocurrency too! (Though you’d think something like RadCoin would be a better choice of name than Wasson Units? – Or is this his own private venture?)

    • DPete27
    • 2 years ago

    Soooo…David Wang is the real Koduri successor.

    “aspects of strategy and business management” is corporate marketing fluff for?…..

      • NTMBK
      • 2 years ago

      Negotiating the big console deals?

      • K-L-Waster
      • 2 years ago

      There are two aspects to leading a team like this.

      The core aspect is designing and building the chips — making sure that the technical decisions are properly thought out and executed .

      The second aspect is running the business — managing people, organizing teams, keeping everything on schedule and budget, etc.

      Splitting those roles between two people allows each to get more focus and attention than if one person is doing double duty.

        • the
        • 2 years ago

        Correct but in the context of AMD, I think there is another motivation. Raja handled both aspects and that lead to some tensions behind the scenes. I have a feeling Lisa Su explicitly wanted to segment these responsibilities between two people to prevent a repeat of history.

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    OK, since my other post that accurately analyzed the power struggles at AMD isn’t going down well with the koolaid crowd, how about this quote:

    [quote<]AMD notes that Rayfield led the team responsible for the original Nvidia Tegra SoC. [/quote<] I'm looking forward to the usual suspects telling just how great Tegra is now that the same guy who is running "strategy" for the RTG.

      • Goty
      • 2 years ago

      The first few iterations of the Tegra line were some of the best tablet SoCs around, actually. They certainly got a lot more market penetration than any of Intel’s attempts…

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      I bought a Motorola Droid X2 on eBay while I waited patiently for the Galaxy S4 to become available on Verizon back in whatever year that was. 2013, I think. It was a dual-core phone! it should have been awesome! I don’t know if it was the MotoBlur skin or what, but it was awful. Slow, stuttery, just awful. So I don’t have too high an opinion on the original Tegra. 😀

        • swaaye
        • 2 years ago

        Tegra 4 was the first one that wasn’t incredibly lame. A15 and dual channel memory really kicked performance up a lot.

        They pushed the resolutions way too high for Tegra 3. And the EMMC chips most things had back then were just awful. Tegra 2’s lack of Neon became a big problem pretty quick too. You can’t even run modern browsers on those tablets now. They want Neon.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 years ago

          Yeah, turns out the Droid X2 used Tegra 2.

          I seem to remember liking the original Nexus 7, which had Tegra 3. That only had a 1280×800 display, though, and lots of 10″ tablets went 1920×1200. I imagine that was rough.

            • swaaye
            • 2 years ago

            Nexus 7 had a EMMC degradation problem like most of the ASUS devices back then. Storage performance slows way down and everything lags and stutters. Wiping it helps a bit. Trim wasn’t even supported by Android until 4.3 and some of the EMMC chips don’t work well with it anyway.

            1280×800 helps. The 1920×1080 Tegra 3 devices are a joke. Even the UI stutters along.

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    Double the C-execs Double the fun!

    For people who don’t think about the political ramifications of this, Lisa Su intentionally put in two people to replace Raj because it was blatantly obvious that he had too much power for her liking. Breaking his duties up for multiple people ensures that she is the one who stays on top at AMD and there won’t be any challengers to the throne.

      • Welch
      • 2 years ago

      Chuckula chuckula chuckula choo chooo!

      Watch out, it’s the troll train!

        • chuckula
        • 2 years ago

        I wasn’t aware that accurately and intelligently describing the situation at AMD was a “troll” just because certain koolaid drinkers don’t like to hear the truth.

          • shank15217
          • 2 years ago

          Your first sentence made sense, then you second sentence made you look like a sexist fart.

            • Redocbew
            • 2 years ago

            Wow. This post pulls on my troll-strings way harder than I think a real troll-post would. Maybe it is a real troll-post, but then I’d have to believe they were clever enough to write it that way. That’s almost as difficult as resisting the troll in the first place. I am so torn.

            I give up. You do know there’s only one sentence in the post to which you are replying, right?

            • Waco
            • 2 years ago

            You’re telling me someone in control of a company wanting to retain control…is sexist?

            No.

            • Anonymous Coward
            • 2 years ago

            A [i<]real man[/i<] would have torn Raj into two pieces, and made each half into a C-level exec. As a warning to others.

            • nanoflower
            • 2 years ago

            Whether you agree with Chuckula or not I don’t know how you get that his comments are sexist. Unless you somehow assume that only a woman could want to retain whatever power they have accumulated? Otherwise Chuckula is simply describing basic power dynamics that are the same for all sexes. People who have garnered a lot of power will often act to keep that power.

            • dodozoid
            • 2 years ago

            BOTH sexes, not all. You can perhaps argue about number of genders, but sexes are biologicaly defined and there are TWO of them.

            • ludi
            • 2 years ago

            Nine out of 10 -ists, aren’t.

            • tipoo
            • 2 years ago

            [url<]http://topyaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/HO.gif[/url<]

            • derFunkenstein
            • 2 years ago

            if Carl at HardOCP is to be believed, Raja had [url=https://www.hardocp.com/article/2016/05/27/from_ati_to_amd_back_journey_in_futility<]staged a failed coup[/url<]. Doesn't matter who the CEO is, that person is going to separate concerns for any successor that could be in a position to try that nonsense again.

            • Anonymous Coward
            • 2 years ago

            Well, I seriously doubt appointing two people can be reduced to power politics. This isn’t similar to nations where politicians must tame the generals. I presume that Su figured two people would do a better job.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 2 years ago

            Not entirely, but I’m sure it played a factor.

            Of course, two people can conspire against you, too.

            • mtcn77
            • 2 years ago

            Raja should have been sent away long ago. Eric Demers shouldn’t have been, thanks to Raja.

            • the
            • 2 years ago

            Kyle?

            • derFunkenstein
            • 2 years ago

            That’s what I said. Carl.

            • Convert
            • 2 years ago

            It’s days like this I want to re-up my subscription for the upvotes.

            • kuraegomon
            • 2 years ago

            I upvoted on your behalf – because we’re just all one big happy family here at TR 😛

          • Welch
          • 2 years ago

          Errrm, then apparently you must know something I don’t. Seemed sort of conspiracy theory to me. Do you have some information that backs up the claim that Lisa Su is somehow power hungry and worried about losing it?

            • Waco
            • 2 years ago

            …she’s a CEO. Name one that isn’t trying to keep their power…

            • NovusBogus
            • 2 years ago

            Heck, it happens to CEOs too. Just ask Carl Bass, former CEO of Autodesk, who got replaced by a pair of corporate cronies when some hedge fund investors decided that his “let’s be slightly less evil now” vision was a liability.

            • Welch
            • 2 years ago

            I never said people don’t want to keep their power, just curious how splitting up responsibilities to two people, replacing a fairly large profile person, can be construed as “OMG, she is scared of losing power!”.

            You have to make a lot of assumptions to arrive at that conclusion. Like I said, unless you know of some specific info I’m aware of. If it is just typical CEO stuff, then why even mention it as it’s par for the course.

            • the
            • 2 years ago

            Take a look at the Vega chip in Kaby Lake-G. Raja was able to navigate both the business side of Intel and the technical side to utilize EMIB. While such a deal couldn’t have been completely hidden from the CEO, the depth involved probably could be considering the scope of work involved. Splitting up the workload between technical and logistical means there is more opportunity for oversight as the two halves have to communicate with each other.

            If you want the gossip, [url=https://www.hardocp.com/article/2016/05/27/from_ati_to_amd_back_journey_in_futility<]there is this article[/url<] that painted a not-so-rosy picture of internal AMD workings. Many scoffed at it at the time 21 months ago but we now have Kaby Lake-G. Raja, having left AMD for Intel, gets to negotiate with his former role as AMD is now stuck supplying Intel with GPUs over the short term. Raja now knows what both Intel and AMD have in the pipeline.

            • the
            • 2 years ago

            There are plenty of start up CEOs who are in it just for a quick turn around when they sell off to investors.

            I hear golden parachutes are also nice.

      • Redocbew
      • 2 years ago

      Whether it’s just goal tending or not, breaking this position up into two roles might actually be a good idea. It just means Lisa Su is required to be the referee in cage matches between the top two GPU nerds.

      • Zizy
      • 2 years ago

      Nah, this move wasn’t to preserve her throne. It was to preserve AMD and prevent RTG walking away to Intel. Which would be a much better home for those GPU guys – now that Intel sees the threat NV poses.

        • chuckula
        • 2 years ago

        With Raja being at Intel and with a big bank account, there can still be plenty of poaching going on.

          • nanoflower
          • 2 years ago

          All too true. Intel doesn’t have to do anything other than open up a GPU shop near RTG and people will slowly but steadily end up leaving on their own. So long as Intel is serious about putting money behind a GPU effort this time.

      • Convert
      • 2 years ago

      Claiming this is an accurate assessment, given you don’t actually work for the company or know any of the real behind-the-scenes details, doesn’t make me take you very seriously.

      You are intelligent, I’ll give you that. I’d suggest some humility, and not even to us, but to yourself.

      My first reactions to this is more along two lines: The first is that maybe Raja was really good at what he did and no single person really fit. The second was maybe he wasn’t good because he had too much on his plate and they are thinking it would be better to split the role to be more effective. Speaking from a business point of view that’s how I’ve seen things happen in the past at least.

      Not to say you are wrong, because then I’d be making the same mistake as you in being arrogant enough to think I’ve got it all figured out. Your theory is interesting nonetheless, I’m curious to see if we ever get an answer in the future as to her true motives.

      • designerfx
      • 2 years ago

      What? no. This isn’t some conspiracy garbage. Please don’t espouse ludicrous concepts if you don’t understand basic business sense.

      Companies split up roles from 1 exec to two execs when someone leaves if a: it was too much for one person and b: they think two people can split it better. Say you have a CFO who is acting as CFO + CTO and a CIO but not CTO. So the CFO retires, and now you have a CIO + CFO + CTO.

      This is so common as to be laughable in showing you have no idea what you’re talking about, chuckles. Literally the amount of companies in migration that accidentally end up with a CFO as a CTO are immensely common as the company grows.

      As Convert points out, that’s how most businesses operate. Either you’re the magic niche that now needs to be filled with two folks, or literally the position always needed two people and you somehow filled it with one – which meant you were underpaid doing two people’s jobs. It’s never good to be the magic niche, either.

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