Radeon boss Raja Koduri leaves AMD

Earlier this fall, AMD's Raja Koduri announced he was taking a sabbatical, with intentions to return in December. Now, as reported by Hexus, he has chosen to extend his leave permanently. The leave began in September, following the launch of Vega and in an apparent desire for some downtime and relaxation with his family. We can only guess at the huge amount of pressure Raja has been under during his latest tenure at AMD, and time away from it all has given him time for reflection, the result of which is his decision to leave AMD.

Here's the full letter obtained by Hexus:

'To my AMD family,

Forty is a significant number in history.  It is a number representing transition, testing and change. I have just spent forty days away from the office going through such a transition. It was an important time with my family, and it also offered me a rare space for reflection. During this time I have come to the extremely difficult conclusion that it is time for me to leave RTG and AMD.

I have no question in my mind that RTG, and AMD, are marching firmly in the right direction as high-performance computing becomes ever-more-important in every aspect of our lives.  I believe wholeheartedly in what we are doing with Vega, Navi and beyond, and I am incredibly proud of how far we have come and where we are going. The whole industry has stood up and taken notice of what we are doing. As I think about how computing will evolve, I feel more and more that I want to pursue my passion beyond hardware and explore driving broader solutions.

I want to thank Lisa and the AET for enabling me to pursue my passion during the last four years at AMD, and especially the last two years with RTG. Lisa has my utmost respect for exhibiting the courage to enable me with RTG, for believing in me and for going out of her way to support me.  I would also like to call out Mark Papermaster who brought me into AMD, for his huge passion for technology and for his relentless support through many difficult phases.  And of course, I want to thank each and every one of my direct staff and my indirect staff who have worked so hard with me to build what we have now got.  I am very proud of the strong leaders we have and I'm fully confident that they can execute on the compelling roadmap ahead. 

I will continue to be an ardent fan and user of AMD technologies for both personal and professional use.

As I mentioned, leaving AMD and RTG has been an extremely difficult decision for me.  But I felt it is the right one for me personally at this point.  Time will tell.  I will be following with great interest the progress you will make over the next several years.

On a final note, I have asked a lot of you in the last two years.  You've always delivered.  You've made me successful both personally and professionally, for which I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.  I have these final requests from you as I leave:

. Stay focused on the roadmap!
. Deliver on your commitments!
. Continue the culture of Passion, Persistence and Play!
. Make AMD proud!
. Make me proud!

Yours,
Raja

What does this mean for AMD and RTG going forward? Lisa Su will assume interim responsibility for RTG, pending a permanent replacement. Given the RTG didn't even exist until two years ago, and it was formed under the leadership of Raja, finding a suitable person to fill Raja's large shoes could take some time. AMD has said it will continue ahead with the current roadmap and plans, with the intent to continue to grow its graphics division. And as part of those plans, we have the recent Intel announcement of integrating AMD graphics technology onto an upcoming CPU.

This isn't the first time Raja has stepped away from AMD, and he has announced no concrete plans as yet. But wherever he ends up, we wish him the best. Raja is an incredibly smart and passionate individual, with a deep knowledge of technology and the tech industry. His loss will certainly be felt by AMD, and we're equally certain he will pop up somewhere new in the coming months.