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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  • Dustin Sklavos - Monday, May 20, 2013 - link

    I actually just spoke to him, couldn't believe it, but yeah. Blew my mind, I've been working with him at NVIDIA practically since I joined AT. :) Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - link

    Here's hoping he can help get Enduro where I want it to be. Sean seemed to be pretty heavily involved in helping NVIDIA focus on the right problems with Optimus, so Enduro would be a great task for him (managing, not coding, obviously). Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Wednesday, June 05, 2013 - link

    Looks like Enduro (or AMD?) is such a lost cause he went running back to nVidia as fast as he could after the tour of the (leased) HQ.

    "What's the deal with the people?" he asked as they rounded it up.

    "Oh? Yeah, today's a busy day. We got all hands on deck to really show you our strength..."

    "Wait. This is it? At nVidia, this is a team dedicated to something like Shield. This is all the people you have?"

    "We had layoffs. I mean, we got three or so people here and we gave 'em big photos to cover their door with, but single hires only go so far to make up for all the people we had to lay off..."

    "Yeah, dude. You know what? I forgot something in my car. Man. I'm so sorry. Is this an exit? It is? Oh, great! I'll be right back. I swear. I just... uhm, I forgot my... insulin shot."

    "You're diabetic?"

    "Weeell, no, not really, but hey I always... uh... carry it around just in case I become that way. Yeah. You wait here. I'll be... uh, right back."

    Raja waits. He looks around. He hears rapid footsteps. A car door open. It shuts. Then the car starts up and the engine roars as wheels squeal. The car crashes through the gate and Raja sighs. He walks up to the nearest window and watches the dust cloud from the car's track settle slowly back to the Earth.

    "Did he bolt, too?" One of the few non-name people walks up behind him. "I had high hopes he wouldn't..."

    "Yeah. Seems like once they always do that. What is it about us that makes them do that? That's the fifth gate this week!"
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    You really are a special kind of person. Reply
  • krumme - Monday, May 20, 2013 - link

    That is great news. AMD is in dire need excactly at that spot. There seems to be lot of opportunities here :)
    - explaining, dialogue and developing relations is also good for tech development in the long run. So congrats to us.
    Reply
  • jeffkibuule - Monday, May 20, 2013 - link

    Hopefully the turnaround time from people to product will still give AMD enough time to have a fighting chance. Reply
  • axien86 - Monday, May 20, 2013 - link


    Newest benchmarks already show AMD's APUs dominate over Intel's overpriced Haswells.

    Now waiting in the wings, is AMD's total fusion APU project called Kaveri.

    When that is released in the next few months, AMD will go thermonuclear on Intel and start a new age of computing.
    Reply
  • Ewram - Monday, May 20, 2013 - link

    please link said benchmarks? please? Reply
  • axien86 - Monday, May 20, 2013 - link


    CPU review site Itocp posted review on Sunday May 18.

    http://www.itocp.com/htmls/33/n-4533-4.html
    Reply
  • jamyryals - Monday, May 20, 2013 - link

    The bars look nice for them. Unfortunately, I don't read Chinese very well so I guess I'll have to wait to draw meaningful conclusions. Reply

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