Attritional Management Diaspora
No sooner does AMD finally find someone to fill the CEO role it vacated when it booted out Dirk Meyer at the start of the year, than it loses another linchpin of the company - and the two events may well be related.
AMD announced in a short press release that overall product general manager Rick Bergman is leaving the company in order to join another, unnamed (Apple? - ed), one. His decision comes just a month after Rory Read was poached from Lenovo to fill the CEO spot, so it's easy to assume that Bergman coveted the CEO job himself and, upon hearing the news of Read's appointment, his first action was to call his favourite head-hunter.
Read himself will serve as interim general manager of AMD's products group, which is just what he needs a month into the CEO job. Bergman was a senior exec at ATI when AMD acquired it, and moved from being the graphics boss to leading all product development, and spearheading the belated transition into the Fusion era.
The interview embedded below was conducted at Computex 2009, not long after Bergman had been promoted to the product GM role. In it we talk about his new role and look back at the ATI acquisition. We found him to be a sincere, but cautious communicator who lived and breathed the role. It's hard not to conclude his departure is a major blow for AMD - especially if other senior engineers follow him to his new role.
There is one bit of good HR news for AMD, with the appointment of Paul Struhsaker as VP and GM of the newly-formed commercial business division. This division is focused on the server, HPC and embedded markets, none of which AMD is doing especially well in.
So Struhsaker, who was previously at US cable giant Comcast but is a silicon engineer with experience at Motorola and TI, has his work cut out for him. As does Read and the whole of AMD for that matter.