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Last year AMD was hemorrhaging talent. While we don't have a good indication of the extent of the talent exodus, Qualcomm seemed to benefit quite a bit from the tough times that had fallen on AMD. AMD PR mounted the beginnings of a turnaround with the announcement that Jim Keller, former K8 architect and chip-head at Apple had rejoined the company. Then came John Gustafson and last month, we got word that Raja Koduri rejoined as well - also after a multi-year stint at Apple. 

Today I just got word from a couple of very accurate and trusted sources that my old friend Sean Pelletier will be joining AMD as well. Sean will abandon his role as Senior Technical Marketing Manager at NVIDIA to assume a similar role at AMD, initially focusing on GPUs. Reporting on individual hires doesn't actually tell you a lot about talent within a company, but it can give insight into whether or not a company is viable. Not too long ago, leaving Apple, NVIDIA or pretty much any other tech company to join AMD sounded like a career death sentence. The fact that smart folks from all paths are considering AMD as an option for long term employment tells us a lot about how things have changed.

Update: I just got word that Sean ended up back at NVIDIA. He sent me a message after making the decision saying that there wasn't anything wrong with AMD, but that the fit simply didn't feel right. 

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  • AmdInside - Monday, May 20, 2013 - link

    This is silicon valley. I know a lot of people who jump ship just because they get bored. It is normal for people in silicon valley to change jobs all the time. Reply
  • fteoath64 - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - link

    I think you might be on to something. I agree they are certainly not joining a sinking ship but on the contrary, might be shown a golden ship with the proposed new architecture that they are trying with Xbox720 and PS4. That huma tech which if done in totality for the discrete card market and even on their APU will be "leaps and bounds" compared to the competition. Here are the benchmarks, Intel's IGP used to be 1/3 the speed of AMD. Now it is getting to 90% of AMD's speed. So AMD needed a 3X leap-frog to stay competitively ahead. You cannot get such improvements without dramatic architectural changes, so they found a golden goose somewhere and convinced their people it is so. We shall see .. Reply
  • jasonelmore - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - link

    Cant believe there wasnt a anti competition clause in his contract. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - link

    I don't know about other states, but California's pretty anti-"anti-competition" clauses. There may not be a whole hell of a lot NVIDIA can really do. I can't imagine they're remotely happy about this, though. Reply
  • Silma - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - link

    The Dream Team will have to find a vision for AMD and solutions really fast.
    AMD is financially super weak, it's product pipeline isn't exciting and I highly doubt their foray into ARM will save them as I see very little value-added here in comparison to Qualcomm and others.
    Reply
  • jonjonjonj - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    funny a marketer is part of the dream team. poor amd. how about someone who can make decent drivers or a cpu that has good single threaded performance. Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Wednesday, June 05, 2013 - link

    Not a terribly good sign. AMD must be pretty bad off for a guy to leave and then go back to nVidia within a month. Especially when AMD trumpets the move and then--whoops!--the guy changed his mind.

    Things must be worse than I thought.
    Reply
  • krumme - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    Just looks like bad work from amd. Surely nv marketing know that also. Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    I didn't see AMD trumpet the move. Reply
  • soydeedo - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    Maybe he just wanted in on their secrets? =P Reply

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