AMD has lost two high ranking executives to rivals: Bob Feldstein, who oversaw the company’s relationship with console manufactures departed for NVIDIA, while AMD’s man in the Asia Pacific, Ben Williams, has left for Calxeda.
Mr. Feldstein, who came to AMD when the company acquired ATI, has taken up the position of vice president of technology licensing at NVIDIA. Mr. Felstein is largely credited with getting AMD’s Radeon GPUs in the next-generation Xbox and Playstation — which is seen as quite the coup against NVIDIA.
Anonymous sources quoted in a Dow Jones newswire report caution that the Playstation 3 GPU contract is apparently not finalized.
NVIDIA declined to state whether Mr. Feldstein would be involved in a gaming related role in the company, only stating that Mr. Feldstein is “an experienced technology licensing person” that NVIDIA hired “to help us think through current and possible future technology licensing projects.”
While AMD’s other executive loss isn’t as high profile, it certainly will have ramifications for the company.
During Ben Williams’ tenure as vice president of AMD’s server and workstation business the company launched its Opteron line of server chips, at the time seen to be far superior than Intel’s Itanium architecture because of its ability to run 32-bit applications (both Opteron and Itanium are 64-bit) without any significant speed degradations.
As Vice President and General Manager of AMD in the Asia Pacific, Mr. Williams oversaw AMD’s market growth in some of the world’s fastest growing economies.
These departures considered, AMD must seriously focus on talent retention if it wants to successfully navigate through the turbulent waters of the next few years.