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Dave Orton to leave AMD

Dave Orton to leave AMD

Dave Orton, former president and CEO of ATI, will leave AMD at the end of the month.

AMD has announced that the former president and CEO of ATI, Dave Orton, will step down as executive vice president of AMD's Visual Media Business at the end of July.

Things haven't been going particularly well for AMD in recent times and it's fair to say that the recent release of the company's next-generation DirectX 10 hardware has been a little disappointing thus far.

Orton said that he is leaving AMD with "mixed feelings", but is very optimistic about AMD's future.

He joined ATI in April 2000 as chief operating officer and was then promoted to chief executive officer in June 2004. He was also one of the key architects behind the integration of AMD and ATI, the deal that gave the technology industry a much needed shake up last October.

To replace Orton, Adrian Hartog, senior vice president and general manager of AMD's Consumer Electronics Group, and Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager of AMD's Graphics Products Group, will now report directly to the office of the CEO. This, AMD says, will help "ensure the ongoing strategic attention and focus for these important businesses."

When Orton departs, he will have been a part of the new AMD for just over nine months. It's hard to come to terms with why Orton has chosen to leave the 'new AMD', but there could be several reasons. I've been running this through my head for a few hours and there are a few things that came up as possible outside of the obvious "internal fallout" or "personal" reasons.

Could Orton have wanted to leave ATI long before the AMD merger was even thought of? It would certainly go a ways explain why he will leave AMD such a short time after completing the merger. ATI had a reputation of creating great products, but at the same time had a reputation for not executing roadmaps - it's one of the reasons many cited for the original buyout.

Orton maybe felt that the AMD buyout was the only realistic way ATI could survive in the long run, because it needed someone to help execute its roadmaps more stringently. Could he have decided that there wasn't anyone that would be up to the job internally, which is why he outsourced help from AMD?

I'm certainly puzzled by his departure and I'm sure the nay-sayers will say this is a bad thing for AMD, but I don't think that is quite true. Of course, Orton's drive, passion and vision will be missed by AMD, but with the infrastructure that he has helped to install in the time since the merger, I believe AMD will continue to move forwards.

Of course, that's only my opinion and I'm keen to hear your own thoughts in the forums.

11 Comments

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DXR_13KE 10th July 2007, 20:59 Quote
i find this strange to... i don't know what to make of this... was this merge so damaging? the R600 is far from what i was expecting from it.
Amon 10th July 2007, 21:01 Quote
We need more competitors in the graphics arena. Hopefully he improvises a group to found a successful competing company since he was the COO during the 9700 Pro era.
DougEdey 10th July 2007, 21:10 Quote
I'm interested to see if he had a golden goodbye. It'll be worth watching the business pages for a while to see what their take is on this. Though I think that (personally) it's because of poor team management and to cut costs, I reckon that Bergman has known about this for a while and has been trained by Orton about what to do. Why would you have Orton and Bergman both reporting to AMD CEO at the same time?

Could this be the sign of an imminent big shake up? I think so, AMD (Toronto) are advertising for more Driver Developers (I've applied personally for when I finish my degree).
Amon 10th July 2007, 21:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
Could this be the sign of an imminent big shake up? I think so, AMD (Toronto) are advertising for more Driver Developers (I've applied personally for when I finish my degree).
Need housing? Contact me.
Woodstock 10th July 2007, 22:08 Quote
Quote:
I believe AMD will continue to move forwards.

i sure hope they do
yakyb 11th July 2007, 00:56 Quote
hmm i know that intel have plenty of their own people but maybe intel could offer him a role in their GPU department (in which they are trying to grow) this could potentially improve intel's tech and produce the much needed third runner in the GPU market
Spaceraver 11th July 2007, 01:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakyb
hmm i know that intel have plenty of their own people but maybe intel could offer him a role in their GPU department (in which they are trying to grow) this could potentially improve intel's tech and produce the much needed third runner in the GPU market

that would be like sleeping with your best enemy TBH. and you dont think they have a contract saying that he cant do that??
ZERO <ibis> 11th July 2007, 02:13 Quote
It is because he is a baby, just took him 9 months first.

Or he is pregnant.
Dr. Strangelove 11th July 2007, 13:22 Quote
It was probably all planed from the start, can't have too many alpha males in a company... he will probably be getting a large LARGE sum of money, hence the mixed feelings ;) leaving ATI = sad feeling, large LARGE sum of money = laughing all the way to the bank :p
Fiber4now 12th July 2007, 01:02 Quote
Why Orton would leave, well why did AMD force the launch of the HD2900 XT without independent L1 cache for 320 streaming units and then tell everyone that would listen that this was not done in desperation, taking the X1900 Cache hierarchy and putting it on the next generation R600 but was done in order to target the middle income gamer. Good luck Mr. Orton under your rule before AMD launches may have been late on occasion but at least they where competitive in every segment.
SPQQKY 12th July 2007, 03:56 Quote
This is no surprise really, typical corporate action. He has probably seen it coming for a while. Same thing happened to my father....they brought in a young guy with a new title and less pay and once he got the hang of things, bye bye to the older, more experienced and higher paid individual. Happened to my uncle as well, he was in charge of all of ComEds networking and once he got their big mess fixed, they dumped him and hired some young guy to simply do maintanance.
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