One of the great designers, visionaries, and most joyful people in the world is Raja Koduri. He is also a personal friend. Raja, after too many years of 25-hour days, and with a pile of world-class successes behind him has decided to take a new direction in life, and has moved back to India to care for family members and other personal issues. He’ll be missed by many.
This isn’t a surprise. Raja had talked about wanting to spend more time in India and after the Vega launch he announced that he was taking a leave of absence. (His letter to the troops has been published in several places. When he announced his leave he said: 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.
Now that leave has become permanent. He’s left AMD’s RTG in great shape with an invigorated team, a five to six-year roadmap and an enhanced marketing image.
The good news is Lisa Su, the energetic, super smart CEO of AMD, will take over management of the Radeon Technology Group (RTG) until she finds someone to fill the shoes Raja left. The even better news is Dr. Su gets graphics. I met her in ’98 when she was running the workstation group at IBM Austin, she got graphics then, and never lost her love for it. But with that background, it had to be damn good graphics to get her attention. RTG has her attention, and in fact, there wouldn’t be a RTG if it wasn’t for her. It was Lisa’s idea, and resource allocations that enabled RTG to emerge as a strong unit within AMD. Lisa was/is also the driving force behind AMD’s custom and embedded graphics business and the Intel deal is just the latest example of her touch.
Lisa Su at the RTG event at Siggraph 2017. The scene of AMD’s triumphant Vega launch. (Source: JPR)
So, AMD is in great hands, has a solid technology platform from semiconductors to software, a revitalized sense and style of marketing, and a strong financial statement.