GlobalFoundries recently summoned select journalists to fly to Malta, NY and discuss the future of this contracted foundry. Hot on the heels of that event, AMD announced a new operating model, bringing the company in line with new priorities. Gone are the days of "Real Men Have Fabs", AMD is now re-shaping its organization to focus on four critical functions: products, technology, marketing and customers.
This new structure puts additional focus on the upcoming merger between the CPU and GPU, the creation of SOC [System-On-Chip] product lines and the expansion of already existing business units. The AMD of tomorrow will be more focused on execution, instead of blaming the delays on Fabs and difficulties with manufacturing processes.
Under the new organization, the new leaders of AMD are Rick Bergman, and new leader of AMD PAP – Platforms and Products [merger between AMD Graphics Products Group – GPU + Chipset team and the CPU team]. This explains the recent departures of Raja Koduri [ex-CTO GPG, now at Apple], Bob Drebin [ex ATI CTO, CTO GPG] and Randy Allen [ex-SVP from the now-defunct Computing Solutions Group].
Rick is now leading a team that will merge critical operations into a tight-run ship.
A very important naming comes in the shape of Jeff VerHeul, the new leader of the AMD PSE [Processor Solutions Engineering], which is a unit dedicated to delivering silicon and improving the time-to-market and bringing innovation to near-term roadmaps. You can view the PSE unit as a key controller that should keep all of the other units in tune with publically released roadmaps. All in all, a critical unit – if these guys don’t keep PAP and ATG in check, the marketing and sales part of AMD will have problems.
ATG stands for Advanced Technology Group, led by Chekib Akrout. Just like PSE, this is a completely new business unit and will focus on developing future technologies and coordinating itself with PAP to put the right innovations in right GPUs, CPUs, and SOCs and the like. Intel has had an ATG for years, and it looks like their tick-tock operation was the right recipe for the company. AMD is now shaping itself into a serious competitor, but we will see whether ATG can make the right calls. Knowing Chekib’s experience, they should be able to pull it off.
The Conventional Sales & Marketing Division is now splitting into two non-engineering groups: Marketing and Customers. Marketing is now led by Nigel Dessau – this business unit will focus on delivering "cohesive and consistent external messaging" through non-directional marketing, traditional media and social networks.
On the other hand, Customers is the name for the new sales division that will focus on "expanding AMD’s customer relations globally". Translated into plain English, this is a name for a new sales organization that will push hard in relations between external clients and PAP in order to maximize company’s revenue. The Customers unit is lead by Emilio Ghilardi.
Dirk Meyer, currently serving as AMD’s President and CEO will continue in his current role. All in all, a very interesting sea of changes at AMD – the company now has to deliver and there is no looking back. We only wonder how this new organizational approach will sit with the people that still see AMD as a CPU company, especially in the new marketing department.