Three years after buying ATI for $5.4 billion, AMD is finally merging its processor and graphics businesses in a reorganization that will create four operating units. The goal is to not only help internal development of products and platforms, but to also transmit a single company message to the outside world, AMD officials said. As part of the reorganization, Randy Allen, who was in charge of the rollout of the quad-core "Barcelona" Opteron processor, is leaving AMD.
Advanced Micro Devices is folding its ATI
graphics unit into the overall business, creating a new organization model
designed to help push through plans to integrate its CPU and GPU technologies.
AMD announced the reorganization May 6,
creating four operating units around products, future development, marketing
As part of the move, Randy Allen, senior vice president of the Computing
Solutions Group and a longtime AMD employee,
left the company.
Rick Bergman, who came to AMD in the $5.4
billion ATI acquisition in 2006 and who most
recently was senior vice president and general manager of AMD's
Graphics Product Group, is now in charge of all of AMD's
platforms and products, as well as integrating the chip and graphics product
development groups into a single organization.
"We are tightening our focus on delivering the winning products and
platforms our customers want based on AMD's
industry-leading microprocessor and graphics technologies," Dirk
Meyer, AMD president and CEO,
said in a statement. "The next generation of innovation in the computing
industry will be grounded in the fusion of microprocessor and graphics
technologies. With these changes, we are putting the right organization in
place to help enable the future of computing."
Along with the products group being led by Bergman, Jeff VerHeul will head
the Processor Solutions Engineering team. The new business units will also include
an advanced technology group, led by Chekib Akrout, which will focus on future
technology at AMD, and a marketing group,
led by Nigel Dessau, whose job will be to create a consistent message across
all of AMD's products and platforms.
In addition, a customer group, led by Emilio Ghilardi, is charged with
building on AMD's customer relationships.
Nathan Brookwood, an analyst with Insight 64, said the reorganization fits
in with the message AMD gave when it bought ATI
three years ago.
"When they acquired ATI, they said the
object was fusion, to integrate CPUs and GPUs," Brookwood said. "They've been
at it for two years, and I think they discovered that in order to build a fused
product, they needed a fused company."
It would have been difficult to integrate the computing and graphics
technologies if the two businesses were separate, he said.
Brookwood also dismissed the idea that the goal of the reorganization was to
clean house, particularly Allen, who was in charge of the quad-core
Opteron processor, which was hampered by technical issues and
He pointed out that while Allen did stumble with Barcelona,
he was responsible for a good percentage of successes at the chip maker.
However, Brookwood said Bergman has been at AMD
long enough to have proved to company employees that he is capable of leading
the integration of the CPU and GPU businesses. That will be key, given that it
is difficult for such a reorganization to be successful if employees don't buy
The move comes as AMD tries to get its
financial footing and battles against larger rival Intel. AMD
saw first-quarter revenues decline 21 percent over the previous year, and lost
AMD officials are scheduled to address
stockholders May 7.