Wednesday, September 13th 2017

Raja Koduri On a Sabbatical from RTG till December, AMD CEO Takes Over

Raja Koduri, chief of AMD's Radeon Technologies Group (RTG), has reportedly taken an extended leave from the company, running up to December 2017. Ryan Shrout, editor of PC Perspective stated that he got confirmation from the company about this development. Company CEO Lisa Su has taken direct control over RTG in the meantime.

Formed in 2015 after a major internal reorganization, RTG handles a bulk of AMD's graphics IP, developing and marketing products under the Radeon brand, including Radeon RX series consumer graphics chips, Radeon Pro series professional graphics chips, and Radeon Instinct line of GPGPU accelerators. This move is of particular significance as Q4 tends to be the biggest revenue quarter, as sales rally on account of Holiday.

Raja wrote the following letter to his team

"RTG Team,

You haven't heard from me collectively in a while - a symptom not only of the whirlwind of launching Vega, but simply of the huge number of demands on my time since the formation of RTG. Looking back over this short period, it is an impressive view. We have delivered 6 straight quarters of double-digit growth in graphics, culminating in the launch of Vega and being back in high-performance. What we have done with Vega is unparalleled. We entered the high-end gaming, professional workstation and machine intelligence markets with Vega in a very short period of time. The demand for Vega (and Polaris!) is fantastic, and overall momentum for our graphics is strong.

Incredibly, we as AMD also managed to spectacularly re-enter the high-performance CPU segments this year. We are all exceptionally proud of Ryzen, Epyc and Threadripper. The computing world is not the same anymore and the whole world is cheering for AMD. Congratulations and thanks to those of you in RTG who helped see these products through. The market for high-performance computing is on an explosive growth trajectory driven by machine intelligence, visual cloud, blockchain and other exciting new workloads. Our vision of immersive and instinctive computing is within grasp. As we enter 2018, I will be shifting my focus more toward architecting and realizing this vision and rebalancing my operational responsibilities.

At the beginning of the year I warned that Vega would be hard. At the time, some folks didn't believe me. Now many of you understand what I said. Vega was indeed hard on many, and my sincere heartfelt thanks to all of you who endured the Vega journey with me. Vega was personally hard on me as well and I used up a lot of family credits during this journey. I have decided to take a time-off in Q4 to spend time with my family. I have been contemplating this for a while now and there was never a good time to do this. Lisa and I agreed that Q4 is better than 2018, before the next wave of product excitement. Lisa will be acting as the leader of RTG during by absence. My sincere thanks to Lisa and rest of AET for supporting me in this decision and agreeing to take on additional workload during my absence.

I am looking to start my time-off on Sept 25th and return in December.

Thank you, all of you, for your unwavering focus, dedication and support over these past months, and for helping us to build something incredible. We are not done yet, and keep the momentum going!

Regards, Raja"Source: Ryan Shrout (Twitter)
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50 Comments on Raja Koduri On a Sabbatical from RTG till December, AMD CEO Takes Over

#1
enya64
He comes back and Vega 11 is already released and twice as powerful as Vega 10, sell for a mere $500 as the company's top GPU. Now that's how you release a product, at least as powerful as the competition's best, on time, and at a reasonable price point.

Don't wake me up yet :D
Posted on Reply
#2
R-T-B
enya64 said:
He comes back and Vega 11 is already released and twice as powerful as Vega 10, sell for a mere $500 as the company's top GPU. Now that's how you release a product, at least as powerful as the competition's best, on time, and at a reasonable price point.

Don't wake me up yet :D
It's sad that there was an age when stuff like that actually happened, but no more...
Posted on Reply
#3
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
I have a feeling he might get his head stuck in a Guillotine
Posted on Reply
#4
laszlo
extended leave....finally he decided to search "GPU God" for some favors...
Posted on Reply
#5
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
People take a sabbatical for a reason...usually personal.
Posted on Reply
#6
HZCH
FordGT90Concept said:
People usually take a sabbatical for a reason...usually personal.
A personal reason is often an excuse to hide divergences of ideas, management or interpretation were strong enough to consider firing someone... but the market would've (over)reacted...

OR your right, and he has some personal issues to be taken cared of
Posted on Reply
#7
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
That would be putting him on leave, not a sabbatical.
Posted on Reply
#9
oxidized
This is pretty big news, i don't know what to think. but i feel like we won't be seeing him working with AMD anymore, but you never know...
Posted on Reply
#10
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
It's not though, not really. Day to day operations will be handled by Lisa Su. RTG will otherwise stay the course Raja Koduri set out. The idea of a sabbatical is to not change things.
Posted on Reply
#11
hasherr
Mr. Benzies @ rockstar went so sabbatical and was never let back in company. Truth is - we dont know at this point whats happening. Could be nothing, could be something.
Posted on Reply
#12
Mirkoskji
I feel this is something like "let's take the big management weapon (Lisa su) to rtg". Seemed to me that Raja had difficulty to deal with public relations, remaining impassive, especially when under pressure (see his twitter). I think most of the hype problems of Polaris and Vega are, in part, a result of his public statements and appearances.
Posted on Reply
#13
Vayra86
Raja was seen 'dropping' a Radeon card in a Linus interview once, it was supposed to be a funny moment, but it really is exemplary of the man, and his stance on gaming GPUs, and his view on how PR and marketing should be handled (or rather, screwed up).

I don't see him coming back, and if he does, it sure as hell isn't in the same position. I have yet to uncover a sane business decision from his hands.

Damage control.
Posted on Reply
#14
jsfitz54
Another scenario is that AMD/RTG wants him out and he is under contract ( you know, the document that binds both parties). So RTG pays him to sit home until the contract ends.
Posted on Reply
#15
Liviu Cojocaru
AMD RTG definitely needs a change but I am not sure that this has anything to do with that...
Posted on Reply
#17
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
People don't seem to understand what sabbatical means...
sab·bat·i·cal: noun. A period of paid leave granted to a university teacher or other worker for study or travel, traditionally one year for every seven years worked.
Posted on Reply
#18
Totally
Aquinus said:
People don't seem to understand what sabbatical means...
Yes, we're aware what a sabbatical is, they're discussing whether or not it is genuine or political in nature(i.e. a tactical time-out). Personally, I'm inclined to believe something along the lines of what jsfitz54 is alluding to as the CEO taking the wheel is a red flag. If he was taking a sabbatical purely for personal reasons there isn't a strong reason for the CEO to take the helm other needing him at an arm's length away while they salvage this mess otherwise they could've easily appointed someone else.
Posted on Reply
#19
EarthDog
Aquinus said:
People don't seem to understand what sabbatical means...
"Sabbatical"
Posted on Reply
#20
Dante Uchiha
Raja’s Letter To His Team

"RTG Team,

You haven’t heard from me collectively in a while – a symptom not only of the whirlwind of launching Vega, but simply of the huge number of demands on my time since the formation of RTG. Looking back over this short period, it is an impressive view. We have delivered 6 straight quarters of double-digit growth in graphics, culminating in the launch of Vega and being back in high-performance. What we have done with Vega is unparalleled. We entered the high-end gaming, professional workstation and machine intelligence markets with Vega in a very short period of time. The demand for Vega (and Polaris!) is fantastic, and overall momentum for our graphics is strong.

Incredibly, we as AMD also managed to spectacularly re-enter the high-performance CPU segments this year. We are all exceptionally proud of Ryzen, Epyc and Threadripper. The computing world is not the same anymore and the whole world is cheering for AMD. Congratulations and thanks to those of you in RTG who helped see these products through. The market for high-performance computing is on an explosive growth trajectory driven by machine intelligence, visual cloud, blockchain and other exciting new workloads. Our vision of immersive and instinctive computing is within grasp. As we enter 2018, I will be shifting my focus more toward architecting and realizing this vision and rebalancing my operational responsibilities.

At the beginning of the year I warned that Vega would be hard. At the time, some folks didn’t believe me. Now many of you understand what I said. Vega was indeed hard on many, and my sincere heartfelt thanks to all of you who endured the Vega journey with me. Vega was personally hard on me as well and I used up a lot of family credits during this journey. I have decided to take a time-off in Q4 to spend time with my family. I have been contemplating this for a while now and there was never a good time to do this. Lisa and I agreed that Q4 is better than 2018, before the next wave of product excitement. Lisa will be acting as the leader of RTG during by absence. My sincere thanks to Lisa and rest of AET for supporting me in this decision and agreeing to take on additional workload during my absence.

I am looking to start my time-off on Sept 25th and return in December.

Thank you, all of you, for your unwavering focus, dedication and support over these past months, and for helping us to build something incredible. We are not done yet, and keep the momentum going!

Regards, Raja"

source: http://wccftech.com/amd-head-graphics-raja-koduri-takes-temporary-leave-ceo-lisa-su-charge-rtg-2018/
Posted on Reply
#21
Vayra86
'Back in last year's high performance' :) there fixed that for you Raja

Also, this, is telling to me:
"As we enter 2018, I will be shifting my focus more toward architecting and realizing this vision and rebalancing my operational responsibilities. "

He is definitely not going to be the public face anymore.
Posted on Reply
#22
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Um, that pretty much describes his current role at AMD: "Senior Vice President and Chief Architect"

There's no smoke here which stands to reason there is no fire either. This is really no different than a game studio giving their employees a month off after finishing a big project. He's recharging before diving headlong into Navi.
Posted on Reply
#23
Prima.Vera
Raja screwed up big time with Vega....
Posted on Reply
#24
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Not really. The fact they can't keep it in stock is proof of that. Polaris has the same problem.
Posted on Reply
#25
Totally
FordGT90Concept said:
Not really. The fact they can't keep it in stock is proof of that. Polaris has the same problem.
No one is saying there is anything wrong with the product, it is the launch and handling of it afterwards that was abysmal. Without any actual numbers the fact that they can't keep stock can not be but in a positive nor negative light because I can easily say they can't keep stock because they didn't have much to begin with.
Posted on Reply
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