Raja Koduri, Radeon Technologies Boss, leaves AMD

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Remember when we reported on the Radeon Technologies Group boss, Raja Koduri, taking a leave of absence with an intent to return to the fold in December? That isn't going to happen, according to a memo Raja has written to his team, because today is his last day in the job.

The Memo in Full
HEXUS has gained exclusive access to the memo through well-placed sources, and we can show you how Raja arrived at the decision to leave for pastures new:

'To my AMD family,

Forty is a significant number in history. It is a number representing transition, testing and change. I have just spent forty days away from the office going through such a transition. It was an important time with my family, and it also offered me a rare space for reflection. During this time I have come to the extremely difficult conclusion that it is time for me to leave RTG and AMD.

I have no question in my mind that RTG, and AMD, are marching firmly in the right direction as high-performance computing becomes ever-more-important in every aspect of our lives. I believe wholeheartedly in what we are doing with Vega, Navi and beyond, and I am incredibly proud of how far we have come and where we are going. The whole industry has stood up and taken notice of what we are doing. As I think about how computing will evolve, I feel more and more that I want to pursue my passion beyond hardware and explore driving broader solutions.

I want to thank Lisa and the AET for enabling me to pursue my passion during the last four years at AMD, and especially the last two years with RTG. Lisa has my utmost respect for exhibiting the courage to enable me with RTG, for believing in me and for going out of her way to support me. I would also like to call out Mark Papermaster who brought me into AMD, for his huge passion for technology and for his relentless support through many difficult phases. And of course, I want to thank each and every one of my direct staff and my indirect staff who have worked so hard with me to build what we have now got. I am very proud of the strong leaders we have and I'm fully confident that they can execute on the compelling roadmap ahead.

I will continue to be an ardent fan and user of AMD technologies for both personal and professional use.

As I mentioned, leaving AMD and RTG has been an extremely difficult decision for me. But I felt it is the right one for me personally at this point. Time will tell. I will be following with great interest the progress you will make over the next several years.

On a final note, I have asked a lot of you in the last two years. You've always delivered. You've made me successful both personally and professionally, for which I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I have these final requests from you as I leave:

. Stay focused on the roadmap!
. Deliver on your commitments!
. Continue the culture of Passion, Persistence and Play!
. Make AMD proud!
. Make me proud!

Yours,
Raja

Analysis
Our sources tell us that Lisa Su, AMD CEO, will continue to oversee RTG for the foreseeable future. AMD appreciates that such an important role cannot be the sole domain of the CEO, and to this end is actively searching for a successor to Raja. We expect the appointment to be made within a few months.

Though Radeon RX Vega is now available in reference form and is speedy enough to challenge the premium end of the rival GeForce GTX family of cards - 1070, 1070 Ti and 1080, in particular - it seems as if the arrival has been too little, too late. The general feeling, after speaking to sources, is that AMD wants to replicate the technology leadership, execution strategy and cost/manufacturing efficiencies most recently exhibited by the full-scale Ryzen and Epyc CPU launch - key metrics that appear to have been missed by RTG.

We know this because key personnel driving the underlying Zen CPU architecture are being tasked to bring the same clarity of vision and execution to RTG. In particular, Sam Naffziger, Corporate Fellow, and Suzanne Plummer, Zen CPU Design Director, are taking roles within RTG, with Sam doing 'double duty' as he'll still be a part of CTO Mark Papermaster's team.

AMD had no comment to make on whether Raja's departure has any meaningful impact on Navi, the next GPU architecture, and we take this to mean that, as far as the company is concerned, it is business as usual. And business means pushing on with new ventures such as the semi-custom Radeons for Intel H-series CPUs, announced just yesterday.

Big Bets
Key bets need to pay off in the high-stakes game of processor design. Radeon RX Vega ushers in new, exciting technologies such as HBM2 and, relatedly, High Bandwidth Cache. However, with the guts of the design largely based on the previous generation, unmitigated success of RX Vega was always going to be difficult - Nvidia's Pascal architecture, by contrast, remains fundamentally more efficient and, well, faster. Nvidia could release faster versions of GeForce without going to the next-generation Volta well, and such performance hegemony put RTG in a poor light. Desktop RX Vega remains decent, but arguably not good enough for late-2017.

Personal Take
After having personally known Raja for well over 10 years, I found him to be thoroughly amenable, wickedly smart and more honest and open than most C-level executives at leading technology firms. He has a determined passion and excitement for graphics, so I fully expect to see him pop up at a technology company sooner rather than later.

https://www.hardocp.com/news/2017/11/07/statement_from_amd_raja_koduri_leaves
 

Maddness

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There was a few people around here predicting this would happen. Will be interesting to see who replaces him.
 
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There was a few people around here predicting this would happen. Will be interesting to see who replaces him.

It was destine to happen.

I said over a month ago that Lisa Su was actively looking for a Raja's replacement.

When the CEO is looking to replace you, it's probably time to go.
 
D

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Good move by AMD. RTG under Raja has been unbearable, if only AMD have someone very similar to Lisa running RTG.
Raja inherited a mess. It wasn't his fault. AMD didn't have the money to properly invest in ATI when they took over. Sure it was a huge benefit early on for APU's, but this soon went by the wayside as they fell further and further behind. The last great GPU that was in the pipe when AMD took over was 7900 series IIRC. And that was the last time ATI/RTG was truly competitive. They were close with the 280, but the power was insane. The 380 lagged even more. And when Fury came out it was an all out disaster.

But Raja fought for RTG to be independent from AMD. That gave Raja the leverage he needed to negotiate with Intel without AMD interfering. I imagine the Intel deal left AMD nonplused.
 

vegeta535

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Honestly this doesn't bold well for Navi. Navi was the first product he had full hands on from conception since he joined RTG no? They must not have much faith in Navi if they letting him go.
 

Maddness

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Honestly this doesn't bold well for Navi. Navi was the first product he had full hands on from conception since he joined RTG no? They must not have much faith in Navi if they letting him go.

It's very worrying , that's for sure
 
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So, is Raja now going to go work full time for his true master at Intel?

After all, his tenure here at AMD/RTG has been charade while he was moonlighting at Intel.
 

doubletake

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Hey uhhh... why is this post just the Hexus article copy+pasted (minus the final link to the [H] one)?
 

Whach

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Things like this are reason that Nvidia is mucking around with things like star wars edition Titan cards..... Twiddling their thumbs and getting away with dumb shit.
 

tangoseal

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I don't think just gleefully resigned. He was fired hands down. But in the professional world where image and marketing matters, he was probably offered a forced resignation so he could maintain his image and value to other companies he may venture into. That is the gentlemans way of Lisa letting him go.
 

Shintai

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I don't think just gleefully resigned. He was fired hands down. But in the professional world where image and marketing matters, he was probably offered a forced resignation so he could maintain his image and value to other companies he may venture into. That is the gentlemans way of Lisa letting him go.

Due to his quick reemployment at Intel. It seems he simply left. Cant blame him when he had nothing to work with at AMD.
 

Whach

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Already read it when it came out. It just sounds as if Koduri was pissed at being under AMD & their hampering by farting around APU's instead of highlighting ATI's graphics chops before their acquisition. He tried to play catch-up and was ultimately severed after that effort failed. I'm not surprised that Polaris etc were duds, leveling with nVidia after all these years of misuse would not be easy, considering the resource & time deficiency that they most likely lacked compared to nVidia.

Add to it that the article seems a little salty, (with good reason).

ATI was not perfect (drivers. oh the drivers), but the AMD thing made things worse. He tried to fix it, failed, and then was pushed as a price and politicking. Cant really find him at fault given the long term circumstances. At least he wanted ATI back to their roots. Good luck to him at Intel. Better use of his time. Lisa needs a "Jim Keller" of GPU's to get back in the game.
 
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Already read it when it came out. It just sounds as if Koduri was pissed at being under AMD & their hampering by farting around APU's instead of highlighting ATI's graphics chops before their acquisition. He tried to play catch-up and was ultimately severed after that effort failed. I'm not surprised that Polaris etc were duds, leveling with nVidia after all these years of misuse would not be easy, considering the resource & time deficiency that they most likely lacked compared to nVidia.

Add to it that the article seems a little salty, (with good reason).

ATI was not perfect (drivers. oh the drivers), but the AMD thing made things worse. He tried to fix it, failed, and then was pushed as a price and politicking. Cant really find him at fault given the long term circumstances. At least he wanted ATI back to their roots. Good luck to him at Intel. Better use of his time. Lisa needs a "Jim Keller" of GPU's to get back in the game.

Raja is someone who is not a team player.

He may be a good player, but he is all about bring the attention to himself at the expense of the team.
 

Chimpee

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Already read it when it came out. It just sounds as if Koduri was pissed at being under AMD & their hampering by farting around APU's instead of highlighting ATI's graphics chops before their acquisition. He tried to play catch-up and was ultimately severed after that effort failed. I'm not surprised that Polaris etc were duds, leveling with nVidia after all these years of misuse would not be easy, considering the resource & time deficiency that they most likely lacked compared to nVidia.

Add to it that the article seems a little salty, (with good reason).

ATI was not perfect (drivers. oh the drivers), but the AMD thing made things worse. He tried to fix it, failed, and then was pushed as a price and politicking. Cant really find him at fault given the long term circumstances. At least he wanted ATI back to their roots. Good luck to him at Intel. Better use of his time. Lisa needs a "Jim Keller" of GPU's to get back in the game.

I don't really think AMD need a Jim Keller of GPU, what they really need to start increasing the R&D budget for RTG to make them a competitive department again.
 

Whach

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Raja is someone who is not a team player.

He may be a good player, but he is all about bring the attention to himself at the expense of the team.
Because the AMD team was really doing well? At that point, I'd take a shot with his ATI ambition than the idiocy that was AMD's corporate "team". I mean, they needed their old school & tested Athlon designer back to bring Zen into play on the CPU side. We'll see if Lisa has a plan to change things. If the next thing is a dud, she should get fired too right? It make's sense, but doesn't portray the whole situation & how it came to be.
 

Whach

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what they really need to start increasing the R&D budget for RTG to make them a competitive department again.

Agree on that. Absolutely. I dont think the RTG had enough of that including time to pull it off with Polaris/Vega. It's probably why RTG was created in the first place. Koduri wanted the autonomy do the GPU stuff via the ATI of old, but probably didn't have enough time to pull it off. Lisa & he probably made a deal, it didn't work, this was the result. That doesnt mean everything bad that happened is Koduri's fault. Its compounding fault of AMD's decisions. Kod tried to change that, but couldn't overcome it.

Well, that's what i read into it. Conjecture Conjecture....
 
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His tenure at AMD/RTG has been charade while he was moonlighting at Intel.

Raja is now going to go work full time for his true master at Intel.
 
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razor1

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I don't really think AMD need a Jim Keller of GPU, what they really need to start increasing the R&D budget for RTG to make them a competitive department again.


They need a guy that knows what it takes and what the feature is going to be, which takes a butt load of experience. Its not easy to find people like this. Specially with the landscape of general GPU computing and how fast it changes.

Even if they have the resources, they need that too. Just look at Intel, they had have the resources for decades, but still weren't able to do anything meaningful in graphics and in general GPU computing, they are miles behind, AMD let alone nV.
 

Chimpee

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They need a guy that knows what it takes and what the feature is going to be, which takes a butt load of experience. Its not easy to find people like this. Specially with the landscape of general GPU computing and how fast it changes.

That is true, but certainly having a bigger budget will help them recruit these talents, a department can only achieve so much if both of their hands were tied behind their back for so long.
 

razor1

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That is true, but certainly having a bigger budget will help them recruit these talents, a department can only achieve so much if both of their hands were tied behind their back for so long.


I agree but we are talking about 1 person out of a 100,000 people work force that is capable of doing this.
 

realworld

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dhD86sr.png

Now when you think about it, it was Raja who created this weird Radeon Rebellion marketing campaign... rebel against nvidia? Nope. REBEL AGAINST AMD!
 

greyboxer

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truly an end of an era, and perhaps a beginning at intel. I also heard some rumblings in the bushes about intel and nvidia no longer partnering?
 

muxr

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truly an end of an era, and perhaps a beginning at intel. I also heard some rumblings in the bushes about intel and nvidia no longer partnering?

Intel and Nvidia never partnered. Nvidia sued Intel so as part of a settlement Intel had to license Nvidia's tech at a tune of $1.5 billion. Payments were being made until last year.
 
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