Too much stress, Raja takes sabbatical, Lisa Su takes over RTG

Discussion in 'AMD Flavor' started by Araxie, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Araxie

    Araxie [H]ardness Supreme

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    AMD launched their next-gen Vega GPU architecture just a few weeks ago and it has been a sea of controversy ever since, but now we're hearing that Radeon Technologies Group boss Raja Koduri is going on a break until the start of 2018, with AMD CEO Lisa Su stepping into Koduri's shoes for the next few months.

    Read more: RTG boss takes 'sabbatical', Lisa Su takes over RTG

    So it seems the stress of die shrink Fiji was too much so Raja felt the need to quit until 2018. Yeah that's what happens when a big name in the industry doesn't live up the expectations.
     
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  2. SeymourGore

    SeymourGore 2[H]4U

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    Yar kinda hard to not make assumptions here. Maybe the [H] Vega and fury at same clocks article was what finally did him in.
     
  3. Factum

    Factum Gawd

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    I wonder what this does to "Navi"...
     
  4. Ultima99

    Ultima99 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Probably very little.
     
  5. Gideon

    Gideon [H]ard|Gawd

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    Navi is done, so he has very little to do but wait on the fab and the node shrink.
     
  6. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman [H]ardness Supreme

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    Is it too late to call the Keller back?
     
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  7. _mockingbird

    _mockingbird Limp Gawd

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    August 3, 2017

     
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  8. _mockingbird

    _mockingbird Limp Gawd

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    Anyway, I will say this: there is going to be major structural changes.

    Koduri may or may not be coming back, but he is unlikely to be head of RTG anymore.
     
  9. NKD

    NKD [H]ardness Supreme

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    You know a lot of people will say oh Raja didn’t get a fair shot bla bla. You run a division and you do everything wrong deserves a leave of absence. I think Raja is gone. Look at how well the CPU division has been run and has delivered competition product and almost pitch perfect marketing and hype control. On the other hand Raja not only over hyped Polaris and did much worse with vega! He messed up somewhere big on vega. I think the architecture failed big time and the promises he made on efficiency were likely wrong. He might have bullshitted the bosses just like he did in public. And on top a lot of vega features aren’t even enabled or not working in drivers. Lisa probably has enough of his excuses.
     
  10. realworld

    realworld Limp Gawd

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    Ryzen hogged all the R&D. His team can only do so much.
     
  11. jologskyblues

    jologskyblues [H]Lite

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    He has command responsibility for what happened.

    I wouldn't be surprised if he never comes back.

    Raja has always given me the impression that he's too laid back for the job.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
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  12. polydiol

    polydiol [H]ard|Gawd

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    My old head football coach used this term to explain why he wouldn't be returning the following season as head coach. I believe his words were "I'm on sabbatical"
    Shortly thereafter a new head coach was announced..........
     
  13. Romale23

    Romale23 Gawd

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    Assume that is true, he still let the press get ahead of it. He over promised and under delivered.
     
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  14. jmilcher

    jmilcher 2[H]4U

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    He's lucky he still has a job with his track record.
     
  15. primetime

    primetime [H]ardness Supreme

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    Makes ya wonder just how low the current gpu production numbers are really at compared to previous launches. That and the fact vega gpus use a shit load more transistors just to match furys performance. (That cant be good for profit margins) He aint coming back!
     
  16. Romale23

    Romale23 Gawd

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    You know, I've worked in military, private, and public entities and as a rule i can tell you across all three people at the tippy (c level) top are not held accountable to shit outside of bad press. A manufacturing company i worked for blew through 250 million dollars worth of investment without increasing production capacity or quality or reducing costs, nothing happened to the decision makers. In military i've seen people at higher ranks do shit that would get lower ranks thrown in jail result in a slap on the wrist and a dramatic increase in promotions to people who were just bad at their job and the reports to civilian leadership being blatant lies to support 1 narrative or the other. In the public section utter misuse of funds, incredible waste and contracts awarded to friends and family. compensation that is more than 40% the private sector equivalent. A general lack of accountability to achieve whatever their mission is because they dont know how and result in adding paperwork and steps to a process that make things less efficient with no tangible benefit. What i'm getting at is, i expect him to either come back or go get a job at nvidia.
     
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  17. Dayaks

    Dayaks [H]ardness Supreme

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    I've seen it all as well. For me it was generally the blind leading the blind.

    I also think the high ups have layers of management below them for the sole reason of risk mitigation... so they have fall guys. It usually catches up to them but it takes years and by then they've made millions.
     
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  18. primetime

    primetime [H]ardness Supreme

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    He also has the software side of RTG division all fucked up according to last few [H] articles (and my own experiences)....They might as well shit can wattman or label it for Alpha testing only.
     
  19. Algrim

    Algrim Gawd

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    First rule of management: Everything is your fault.
     
  20. Rizen

    Rizen [H]ardForum Junkie

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    "Taking a Sabbatical" is industry-speak for "fired" when you are that high up in a corporate organization. Just happened where I work.
     
  21. jologskyblues

    jologskyblues [H]Lite

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    The directors and shareholders must have had something to do with it.

    I still remember when AMD didn't have a steady CEO in the years from when Hector Ruiz left to when Dr. Lisa Su stepped in.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  22. N4CR

    N4CR 2[H]4U

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    Kek I was going to say in the other 'who would take over thread' Lisa should...
    Oh look what happens.

    Raja was a good dude and well intentioned, unfortunately with a pile of aging, white GCN dogshit to wrangle but he was a bit bad at the PR game, slipping up and some over-promising statements here and there.
     
  23. deton8

    deton8 Limp Gawd

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    So if this is true, would Navi be out of Raja's hands at this point?
     
  24. Rizen

    Rizen [H]ardForum Junkie

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    At this point the bulk of the work on Navi has been completed; GPU designs take 3-4 years from inception to completion at minimum.
     
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  25. Rvenger

    Rvenger [H]ard|Gawd

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  26. Michaelius

    Michaelius [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yeah sure - except we live in an era of PR speak they might be calling it Sabbatical to not admit product is failure. I won't be surprised if they claim various family matters force him to resign after that.
     
  27. _mockingbird

    _mockingbird Limp Gawd

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    Well, I will tell you what is going to happen.

    Over the next couple of months, RTG is going to go through a major restructuring.

    Although it has not been decided:

    Koduri's position as head of RTG is on life support.

    Koduri may return to wind-down his work on Navi.

    Navi will likely be the last GCN architecture.

    RTG is considering a new non-GCN architecture.

    This will be lead by a new chief engineer.

    _________________________________________________________________

    The situation is very much in flux, so don't take this as gospel.
     
  28. _mockingbird

    _mockingbird Limp Gawd

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  29. razor1

    razor1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yeah they do thats why its always dangerous to be in middle management
     
  30. razor1

    razor1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Nah he did other mistakes too, mainly he turned the press against AMD by blacklisting, hiring for the press pool, some of whom now just post shit up and don't behave like they used to when it comes to AMD and its plainly obvious. All those people should be let go, whats the use of having them when their products are bad? Waste more money? Most of the mistakes that were done were not product mistakes, its how PR and Marketing has been handled, that has a direct correlation to RTG's mentality. His complaining about not having engineers, that was a bit too candid, Things like that you talk to your board members with not to the public. Pretty much when some one says that, that means the company isn't going to get out of the hole for many many years if at all. That is bad press.

    Simple things like that really show you what state of RTG is in. Its not going to be fixed overnight.

    Navi is what it is, scheduled to tape out soon so its done. No major changes any more.

    Raja playing it a bit wild and loose when it comes to hiring people, marketing, and social media. I can see why too, he wasn't used to the exposer of his position.

    1) First thing first, fix the main problem, get the right engineers in place (hardware then software)

    2) Then get the right product managers, project managers in place

    3) Then get marketing people (all the marketing people for their game dev programs and dev's for game dev programs here too, don't need them before this they are literally a waste of money)


    What we see right now is 2 and 3, and we can surmise by Raja stating earlier this year they don't have the engineers, they haven't done that yet.

    I'm all for transparency but when it comes to transparency that pertains to the general consumer, not transparency within the company cause doesn't matter how they do things internally as long as the products come out as they say they will come out.

    This is exactly where social media, Youtubers, their new product managers, and all their PR/marketing BS bit him in the ass. They blew things out of proportion with Vega, and Raja didn't stop them. He sure did stop reputable sites with blacking listing though lol. Odd isn't it? Its one thing if RTG was in a position to do the things they did, they are no where near that position, and with a sub par product they aren't going to get anywhere from that. I am pretty sure everyone in the press that thought Vega was going to be a great chip, now will double take anything RTG sends out for the next couple of generations. There won't be any excuses left for RTG to use when something goes wrong. All problems will be looked into critically and what ever reason RTG says won't matter. They lost a good deal of trust with Vega and its promises because of all the hype that was created around it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
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  31. Rvenger

    Rvenger [H]ard|Gawd

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  32. razor1

    razor1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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  33. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    This was put forth to AMD employees last Thursday. Suprised it stayed under the radar for so long.
     
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  34. NKD

    NKD [H]ardness Supreme

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    I totally agree. I think there is so much difference between how CPU side is ran now and how GPU side is ran. Its like Professionals vs Kids running one half of the organization. Raja is cool and thats all he is, he is an engineer and he drove the marketing and public image in to the ground. He was a hype machine, I think he made so many claims and then released two half ass products. It was just the way he handled the entire situation. Usually organizations don't act as harsh and they will let you go in a professional way. May be he will come back as an engineer but I doubt it. This is just way to distance the company from him. Imagine no tweets, no hype no nothing for a few months even if he comes back. Even if he does I don't think he will be the leader in RTG, they need a experienced professional from a business perspective and higher some good engineers.
     
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  35. razor1

    razor1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    There is a another part to it too which I forgot, they kept GCN around too long. Raja came back to AMD in 2013 he was hired back a year before r290 was released, pretty much the second generation of GCN. So WTF was AMD doing since then. They haven't been creating new architectures. They haven't been really modifying GCN enough to stay competitive. Its a cluster fuck over there when it comes to engineering. nV stuck with innovating things that were tangible, memory compression tech, lower DX11 driver overhead, things that are immediately realized for end users. AMD needs to get their priorities straight, but I think its too damn late now. Lisa Sue is good at strategy but when the deck is loaded against your favor, its better to fold, at least you keep what you have. Specially when nV sees everything AMD is doing. Too easy to see why nV did their price cuts, they knew its going to hurt RTG's margins.

    Everything comes in small steps, even with the reduced R&D, AMD had a better architectural base than Keplar but they didn't use it wisely at all, they didn't take their disadvantages and reduce them. The main thing with the r290 was its power consumption (at this point bandwidth wasn't an issue), it was easy to see back then, and still the same problem over and over again, then add in the other problems which were easy to see those would happen, scaling and bandwidth). nV had two bad chips in recent years, FX and Fermi (Fermi was bad compared to competition), and we can throw in 3 with the last of the tesla's. But ever time they had something go wrong the next gen they pretty much fix the problem to become a strength. Even when they too didn't have the budget as before. After the FX series nV was close to bankruptcy. After the 2xx series their books looked bad.

    AMD/RTG hasn't learned from their mistakes. Even with Ryzen its the same way, they could only match up with Intel, but it took AMD 5 years? No over a decade to get Zen, in the interim Intel was milking the crap out of their tech. If AMD wants to be a leader again, they can't be equal, they can't be under, they can't be satisfied in playing price wars. No one becomes leaders with prices wars, unless the one doing it already is the leader. Attrition in war doesn't work if the guy that is being starved has more stock piles then the one doing the starving.

    Even with Raja not at the top of RTG, for them to do what nV is doing, man its going to so damn hard. They will need to sacrifice a lot to get competitive in the GPU market. Its not like the CPU market, every 5 years a new generation of CPU uarch. They need to invest heavy amounts of money every 1.5 years to keep up with nV. At least 200-250 million per Q just for graphics, that is 50% of what nV spends? and that is 50% of AMD's current total R&D. They are not capable of doing that right now. They have Zen 2 coming up, and then they need to start worrying about their future next generation CPU after that which will cost quite a bit of money because its no longer going to be based on Zen. So if they take money away from CPU R&D they are screwed, all of this then they have their SOC's and semi custom designs to worry about, those cost R&D too. And the R&D over both the CPU and GPU divisions encompass those. So if either of those suffer SOC's and semi custom will suffer.

    Pretty much they would need to sacrifice everything that is currently making them money in the short term to get their graphics division just to par with nV. That is just the hardware side of things, how about the software side? That needs money too. All that DL, HPC software libs nV has made in the last decade and they keep improving upon, so far AMD with open source initiatives haven't been able to do anything. That's multiple companies all of which are bigger than nV can't do it. How is Lisa going to make AMD a player in that market? She doesn't have the leverage to push other companies to her side. Those other companies do but they aren't taking an active role in AMD's programs. They have their own things to worry about. Intel has been part of HSA for how long now, but they don't care about AMD's graphics, they only care about their Phi's which are competing against AMD's instinct products. Apple is part of HSA, but Apple only cares about what they need it for. They don't give a crap about AMD's compute needs. Only company that can do it is AMD themselves.

    Every single white paper, marketing, press release AMD/RTG has stated so far sounds great on paper, but in reality, its all hype. It never pans out because they are waging war against companies that much larger then them and are just better at business amd have better products. You can't get better at business unless you have the cash in hand. So the only way to get that cash is making compelling products that actually deliver. Zen kinda delivered I'm excited to see how far Zen 2 will take it. But Its not like I'm expecting miracles here, after seeing Zen and its CCX problems, I don't think those problems can be fixed easily.....
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  36. ccityinstaller

    ccityinstaller 2[H]4U

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    Razor, you are a super smart guy, and while I have disagreed with you in the past, you make some valid points. It all boils down to money. Nvidia has it, AMD does not. The only way that changes is if people continue to support the company. I am not saying be a blind fan boy, but by choosing to use AMD CPUs where they will wok just fine vs paying more money to Intel so we have the status quo return in a few years as Zen runs out of steam.

    I am quick to realize AMD has issues at times I just prefer to run their GPUs since I am not a big fan of Nvidia's business tactics. I think Raja needs to go back to just being an engineer, and Lisa SU needs to hire a proper SVP or w/e the title is for the head guy @ RTG. Raja had his shot, and I think he has proven that he cannot be an effective engineer and business leader at the same time. VERY few people on this planet could manage that kind of work load.
     
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  37. razor1

    razor1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I agree Raja can do it though, it was a learning experience for him, he was never used to the visibility before, but now I think him as an engineer would be better. Even before getting a SVP or lead for RTG, they should get top engineers, just like they did with Zen, get good people that can lead them the right way to support Raja. Slow and steady always wins the race. Right now, RTG is not steady, its all over the map with no clear directions.

    I was teaching my 11 year old niece a few weeks ago, tennis, she can hit that ball pretty hard, which was what I thought it her last year, hit that ball as hard as she can, this year, changed it up, slow it down, prefect her stoke, once she gets that down, go back to hitting hard.

    Sometimes ya just need to take a step back and prefect what you have before you go forward.
     
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  38. Algrim

    Algrim Gawd

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    RTG doesn't deserve charity. They're a business, not a non-profit organization (not legally, anyway). If RTG needs cash they need to structure their debt, launch a kickstarter campaign, and/or court more venture capitalists to invest money in the company (etc.) instead of expecting people to give up their hard-earned cash as a pity gesture to keep the company producing good products.

    'Give a man a match and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life...'
     
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  39. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    Scott Herkelman
     
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  40. jologskyblues

    jologskyblues [H]Lite

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    Agreed.

    It's not like AMD is a saint. They've done some pretty shady stuff too and much of their marketing is very misleading or two-faced while trying to be under the guise of being pro-consumer / pro-open source or standard.