Knives out at AMD as product groups fused together

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) – now a fabless company because it spun off its microprocessor production – is shuffling senior suits around in a bid to integrate its CPU and graphics lines. But there are also changes in other business units – including AMD’s sales group.

Rick Bergman, former head of the AMD graphics business, will now look after all the microprocessors and graphics chips the firm designs.

Bergman was a senior executive at ATI and has experience of fabless chip companies. ATI designed chips that other firms actually made, and that’s the sort of firm AMD is now. Spun-off semiconductor manufacturing company Globalfoundries will manufacture AMD chips.

Dirk Meyer, AMD’s CEO, claimed the reorganization was a planned move to fuse graphic chips and microprocessors. Randy Allen is to leave the company under the reshuffle.

There’s a whole raft of other changes too. David Wang will become head of engineers in the graphics unit. Former HP suit Emilio Ghilardi will look after AMD’s sales outfit.  There are other changes too.

Sources within AMD who were formerly at ATI before it was taken over three years ago, tell TG Daily that they were shocked at the difference in culture between the two companies. While ATI had a light touch and a cheerful disposition, they discovered that in Sunnyvale things were very different indeed.

On the face of it, AMD will be able to claim that the reorganization will match its efforts to create Fusion – that is to say integrated CPUs and graphics chips. But AMD needs to get its act together to fight its major competitor, the Intel Corporation in the teeth of an unprecedented semiconductor slowdown. AMD needs to turn a profit.