Raja Leaves Radeon Technologies Group for Now

FrgMstr

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Raja is out for now, Lisa Su is in. Instead of speculating, here is the email that Raja sent his employees.

RTG Team,

You haven’t heard from me collectively in a while – a symptom not only of the whirlwind of launching Vega, but simply of the huge number of demands on my time since the formation of RTG. Looking back over this short period, it is an impressive view. We have delivered 6 straight quarters of double-digit growth in graphics, culminating in the launch of Vega and being back in high-performance. What we have done with Vega is unparalleled. We entered the high-end gaming, professional workstation and machine intelligence markets with Vega in a very short period of time. The demand for Vega (and Polaris!) is fantastic, and overall momentum for our graphics is strong.

Incredibly, we as AMD also managed to spectacularly re-enter the high-performance CPU segments this year. We are all exceptionally proud of Ryzen, Epyc and Threadripper. The computing world is not the same anymore and the whole world is cheering for AMD. Congratulations and thanks to those of you in RTG who helped see these products through. The market for high-performance computing is on an explosive growth trajectory driven by machine intelligence, visual cloud, blockchain and other exciting new workloads. Our vision of immersive and instinctive computing is within grasp. As we enter 2018, I will be shifting my focus more toward architecting and realizing this vision and rebalancing my operational responsibilities.

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. I have been contemplating this for a while now and there was never a good time to do this. Lisa and I agreed that Q4 is better than 2018, before the next wave of product excitement. Lisa will be acting as the leader of RTG during by absence. My sincere thanks to Lisa and rest of AET for supporting me in this decision and agreeing to take on additional workload during my absence.

I am looking to start my time-off on Sept 25th and return in December.

Thank you, all of you, for your unwavering focus, dedication and support over these past months, and for helping us to build something incredible. We are not done yet, and keep the momentum going!

Regards, Raja


I have known Raja for many years, and he has a great family. I hope he makes things right at home.

You can read the review here of how Vega technology advances stack up against Fiji.
 

hexamon

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Not a 3 month vacation. If I asked for 3 months just to hang out on a beach my company will tell me go pound sand. He need to get the GPU department in gear and produce something worth a fuck.

I bet someone truly valuable at your company would get a different answer. What I am saying is you are not worth a three-month vacation. They would probably take weekends from you if they could get away with it.
 

vegeta535

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I bet someone truly valuable at your company would get a different answer. What I am saying is you are not worth a three-month vacation. They would probably take weekends from you if they could get away with it.
Nope. It is less likely that some one more valuable then me will get to take 3 months off unless it is for medical reasons. It hard enough to get a month off in a row using all my vacation time.
 

grtitan

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I think they need more time since the reorg to truly show its impact before we can say he's failed. They just hit 2 years and with development cycles being long we haven't seen the real effects yet.
I recall reading something similar, he was just executing what was already in the pipeline and his real product would be Navi.

Heck, google said the same thing when they got motorola, they stated that there was 18 months worth of releases already planned and scheduled for delivery before we could see anything from them.

If I asked for 3 months just to hang out on a beach my company will tell me go pound sand. .

Sorry bro, you are just not that important, go back to work.
 

vegeta535

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I'm betting he already put in 12-14 months of 40 hours per week in 2017 so he's not really getting anything.

Also if you can't take time off for your family then screw that company.
Oh the horror. 12 to 14 months of doing 40 hours a week?! That's a typical work week for most people and they don't get 3 months off. I am sure probably getting paid for it too. Sure he probably worked more then 40 hours a week but still people in his position know what they are signing up for. There are a great deal of family that work around the clock just to put food on the table and don't get to take off that much time to spend time with their family.
 

Verge

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Oh the horror. 12 to 14 months of doing 40 hours a week?! That's a typical work week for most people and they don't get 3 months off. I am sure probably getting paid for it too. Sure he probably worked more then 40 hours a week but still people in his position know what they are signing up for. There are a great deal of family that work around the clock just to put food on the table and don't get to take off that much time to spend time with their family.

He said "12-14 months of 40 hours per week in 2017."

The astute observer, being a person that reads posts, would notice we are only in month 9 of 2017. Implying he's working 60-70 hours a week, and probably has for a very long time.
 

trick_m0nkey

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Not a 3 month vacation. If I asked for 3 months just to hang out on a beach my company will tell me go pound sand. He need to get the GPU department in gear and produce something worth a fuck.

Some people are good enough with their personal finances and have done well enough with their own professional skillset to say "Fuck off and Fuck You, I'm taking 3 months for my family, I will have a job here or anywhere else in this industry for the same salary by the time I get back." You are one of those people he's saying that to.
 

thesmokingman

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Ugh, I doubt he worked any harder than ppl on the cpu team. RTG has been incredibly outpaced and outperformed by the cpu side. I'm sure he's feeling that he just wants to get the eff away for a while, cool off. The heat from the glare of the big lights has been too much. I don't buy the family excuse though obviously its the convenient public reason. :whistle:
 
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I respect AMD's decision to let him take the 3 months but they'll pay the price in productivity by letting Lisa take on another role. 3 months is a bit ridiculous unless it's for medical reasons. I work 70-80 hours a week as a manager in a corporate setting. There are times you get burnt out but that's why you have vacation days/PTO. At his level, he probably has a month's worth of days. RTG has been awful and taking more time off when trying to regain momentum is unacceptable. I don't know any company, even at their peak, who would allow 3 months for "personal reasons".
 

DPI

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He failed and he needs to go. AMD needs a better leader at the GPU division.
"Vacation", "sabbatical" etc for departing high profile execs is just PR to try to mitigate impact on stock price instead of saying what it really is.

Know who's not taking "vacation", not now, not ever?

tesla.jpg

The man doesn't sleep.
 

bigdogchris

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Especially after adding the finishing touches on destroying windows phone and flushing 8 billion worth of buying Nokia down the toilet.
Not experienced enough with Nokia and Windows phones to agree or disagree, but I still lol'd.
 

TimberVD

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3 month vacation. Yup. Anyone else still believes a word that comes out of AMD? PR spinning clever liars they are. It's so damn ridiculous that it actually makes you think they are actually believing the stuff that is coming out of their own mouths.

Raja needs a permanent vacation from his position, and I believe I'm putting that quite nicely.
 

oldmanbal

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The guy probably worked around 100 hours a week for a year straight on top of constant traveling. This isn't the from the comfort of your home desk type work either. Reminds me of the earlier squaresoft years where their overworked programmers, deisgners, and sound engineers would all end up hospitalized once a new ff game was finished with a laundry list of health disorders including but not limited to ulcers, chain smoking, extreme weight loss, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, stress induced illness, loss of all relationships, ect. I'm sure the pressure coming down, especially for Vega, which everyone expected over 6 months sooner, required similar sacrifices to endure.
 
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Is it really so hard to believe that a person that has probably worked 60-80 hours per week may want to spend time with his children? There is a very important stretch of time when kids are school aged that they need their parents around. I take off whatever time I need to be there for my family. Normally that isn't all that much but if I felt the need I'd do it.
 

cageymaru

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Lots of higher paying jobs give employees access to onsite gyms, daycare, eateries, relaxation areas, massages, etc. They have all types of ways for an employee to take time off to take care of a loved one in hospice, have a baby and raise it for awhile, stress relief, moving, etc. All benefits are provided free of charge without the fear of being replaced or fired. Those employers know that it takes a LONG time to train someone to take over a position of leadership and have enough technical experience to be able to converse with an engineer about the design of upcoming products. Thus employees in Raja's position are an invaluable resource.

Now on the flip side some jobs don't care about their employees. If you aren't there you are forgotten and replaced. Nobody cares what you did for the company as there are replacements a dime a dozen waiting in the wings to take your position. These jobs usually don't pay like the above jobs do.

Seems that AMD values Raja; otherwise they would replace him immediately. You can tell this wasn't planned in advance since Lisa Su is taking over the division in the interim. I was expecting to hear about Raja's second in command taking over.

Just my opinion. ;)
 

FrgMstr

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Seems that AMD values Raja; otherwise they would replace him immediately. You can tell this wasn't planned in advance since Lisa Su is taking over the division in the interim. I was expecting to hear about Raja's second in command taking over.
This information was circulated inside AMD last Thursday. Surprised it made it under the radar for so long.
 

Stimpy88

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Personally, I think he is responsible for the sorry state that AMD graphics is in right now, and for the last 6 years at least.

It’s also obvious that he is on his way out. We are just being lied to at the moment, but the truth will out early next year.
 
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SighTurtle

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I'm not sure if people noticed this critical sentence, but the statement reads more like corporate speak for a demotion rather than 3 months free vacation. Sure he may have some personal issue requiring him to leave for a bit but the statement also says that when he comes back his "operational responsibilities" will be "rebalanced" towards architecting. His current role is more managerial so basically this statement reads to me that after he comes back he will no longer be the boss of the Radeon Technologies group. His new role will likely be more along the engineering/architecting side.

Hmm, yeah, if he isn't actually getting pushed out in some way, this is a very interesting possibility, maybe he's not the best manager/executive but everything I've read, people seem to regard him as a fine GPU engineer. Aside from just enjoying his free time, maybe he's deciding to go back into what he's good at.
 

lironmiron

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Ugh, I doubt he worked any harder than ppl on the cpu team. RTG has been incredibly outpaced and outperformed by the cpu side. I'm sure he's feeling that he just wants to get the eff away for a while, cool off. The heat from the glare of the big lights has been too much. I don't buy the family excuse though obviously its the convenient public reason. :whistle:
The guy heading their CPU team took permanent vacations after Ryzen development completed. Three months for making Vega Vs all-life for making Ryzen seems about reasonable.

Read between the carefully crafted lines, dude. That's not what this is about. They're replacing him without wanting to make a scene.
Maybe not replace him. Maybe Lisa just wants to do a total operational audit of the division herself and then decide if he should be replaced.
 

Pusher of Buttons

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I have to assume trying to design high end graphics cards to compete against a company with 5-10x your research budget has to be fucking grueling.

Failure is a relative term....AMD continues to produce cards that sell. Given where the company came from a few years ago I'd stay just keeping a foot in the door is a success. If they can actually start pulling in profitable quarters with Ryzen sales who knows what the future can hold.

Take a break. You kept a sinking boat afloat, patched a few holes, and might have even made some effort to get the motor back running. Give the dude some slack.
 

DPI

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Maybe not replace him. Maybe Lisa just wants to do a total operational audit of the division herself and then decide if he should be replaced.
It's apparent that Lisa ran out of patience with the guy.
 

Pusher of Buttons

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It's very apparent that Lisa ran out of patience with him.

I have a feeling Lisa looks at the fact that EVERY damn card they have produced over the last year has pretty much flown off the shelf and could ultimately care less about being a little slower than Geforce cards in gaming as long as the buggers are selling. Bottom line is the division makes sales and that's what business is for. It sucks for us as gamers that AMD isn't competing one for one but as far as the AMD bottom line is concerned a card sold to miners is just as good as a card sold to gamers.
 

auntjemima

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I get a month off for summer, a month for Christmas, all holidays including the Fridays before.. so 4 day weekends constantly. Maybe the rest are right and you don't deserve it.
 

Anarchist4000

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I'm not sure if people noticed this critical sentence, but the statement reads more like corporate speak for a demotion rather than 3 months free vacation. Sure he may have some personal issue requiring him to leave for a bit but the statement also says that when he comes back his "operational responsibilities" will be "rebalanced" towards architecting. His current role is more managerial so basically this statement reads to me that after he comes back he will no longer be the boss of the Radeon Technologies group. His new role will likely be more along the engineering/architecting side.
If you glance at AMDs job postings, there are many director and senior manager positions posted for positions that don't currently exist. RTG appears to be undergoing a significant expansion now that financials are in order.

What's likely going to occur is Lisa steps in to better understand the business and eventually hires on an executive vice president of RTG in the process of reorganizing and expanding. Raja then comes back in charge of operations/development and someone new handles the administrative side. It's not really a demotion, but would likely place a new decision maker above him. There may be more SVPs showing up or some form of integration with the CPU side.
 

grtitan

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I have a feeling Lisa looks at the fact that EVERY damn card they have produced over the last year has pretty much flown off the shelf and could ultimately care less about being a little slower than Geforce cards in gaming as long as the buggers are selling. Bottom line is the division makes sales and that's what business is for. It sucks for us as gamers that AMD isn't competing one for one but as far as the AMD bottom line is concerned a card sold to miners is just as good as a card sold to gamers.
Sadly, that concept is foreign to many here.
 

Gideon

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Really not all that uncommon for people at the top to take a large amount of time off from time to time.
 
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