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AMD design chief jumps ship to Samsung

After 25 years of service, Michael Goddard is joining rival chip maker Samsung

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AMD's chief design engineer Michael Goddard has become the latest in a stream of the chip maker's senior employees to jump ship over the last year.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Goddard is leaving AMD to join rival chip maker Samsung as a VP and system architect at its facility in Austin, Texas. An AMD spokesperson confirmed that Goddard had left to pursue other opportunities.

Goddard had been at AMD for 25 years. During his time at the company, Goddard worked closely with former AMD engineer and CEO Dirk Meyer. He also spent some time with AMD’s design operations in India, according to a report from All Things Digital.

Investment community reported that shares in the company fell by 0.42% to $2.42 in the early morning session following the news on 27 December.

Goddard's departure comes amid what All Things Digital describes as a “talent exodus” from AMD. The magazine reports that at least 26 executives of varying levels of seniority left the company in recent months, including CFO Thomas Seifert, CMO Nigel Dessau and executive VP and COO Bob Rivet.

However, an AMD spokesperson told Techworld that the company is hiring. “There is great talent who wants to be at AMD as we drive our business towards new high growth opportunities,” said the spokesperson.

“We continue to make several key strategic hires, such as our new chief architect of processor cores Jim Keller (most recently Apple's lead chip architect) and chief graphics product architect John Gustafson (most recently at Intel). And we expect to make further announcements soon.”

The company also announced recently the appointment of Devinder Kumar, who has been with AMD for more than 28 years, as senior vice president and chief financial officer.

AMD announced back in October 2012 that it would cut 15 percent of its workforce (about 1,770 people) as part of a broad restructuring plan. The chip maker posted Q3 revenue of $1.27 billion, a net loss of $157 million, or $0.21 per share, and an operating loss of $131 million.

“The PC industry is going through a period of very significant change that is impacting both the ecosystem and AMD,” said Rory Read, AMD president and CEO, at the time.

“It is clear that the trends we knew would re-shape the industry are happening at a much faster pace than we anticipated. As a result, we must accelerate our strategic initiatives to position AMD to take advantage of these shifts and put in place a lower cost business model.”


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