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Advanced Micro Devices has lost another key executive, who was instrumental in making ATI Technologies and then AMD the worldwide leader on the market of high-end graphics cards. Eric Demers, the former chief technology officer of AMD's graphics products group, has decided to leave the company.

"Eric Demers, AMD corporate vice president and CTO of graphics business unit, has decided leave AMD to pursue other opportunities. AMD CTO Mark Papermaster will assume interim responsibility for the graphics business unit CTO role until a replacement is found," an official statement by AMD reads.

As the chief technology officer, Mr. Demers was responsible for roadmaps, IP development and business engagements. In many ways, he had direct influence on AMD's strategy in general.

Eric Demers started his career as an engineer of graphics processors in Matrox Graphics and Seiko Epson in 1990. Mr. Demers spent four years with SGI before David Orton and Rick Bergman started their own company called ArtX, which designed graphics processor for Nintendo Gamecube game console. ArtX was eventually acquired by ATI Technologies in 2000 and was responsible for development of such market-changing products like Radeon 9700. ATI was bought by AMD in 2006 and since then Eric Demers held various positions at the new company, where he oversaw development of such breakthrough products like AMD Radeon HD 5800 "Evergreen" or AMD Radeon HD 7900 "Southern Islands".

Eric Demers became one of many ex-ATI executives and engineers who left the company in the past five years and one of many ex-AMD execs brought to the company by its former chief executive officer Dirk Meyer. Just several weeks ago AMD announced the departure of Emilio Ghilardi as senior vice president and chief sales officer. Mr. Ghilardi joined AMD from Hewlett Packard in 2008.

Tags: AMD, ATI, Radeon


Comments currently: 12
Discussion started: 02/14/12 05:59:28 PM
Latest comment: 02/16/12 03:24:23 PM
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Rory Read better have a good explanation why he either "fired" Demers or didn't offer him a counter-offer in case Demers received a lucrative offer from a competitor (i.e., Apple, ARM, etc.).

It looks like Read is making a "turn-around" at AMD by shifting the company's core strategy from mature markets, PCs, servers, and discrete graphics to a new focus on emerging markets, mobile clients, cloud servers, and embedded systems.

That might please stock holders and the BofD, but slowly and surely this guy is destroying the AMD we actually respected and loved and cheered for as the underdog.

The current HD7000 series launch of being first to market worked because NV is late to the market, but you can't rely on your competitor to be making these kinds of mistakes forever. What happens when you lose such fundamental employees as Demers that help to set the vision for the Graphics Division, that help to define the roadmap for GPGPU compute?

Since Read took over, he either fired any previous executives at AMD (likely because they didn't agree with his vision) and/or his leadership has resulted in a lot of talented people simply abandoning AMD (Rick Bergman's departure to Synaptics, Demers most likely to another large company).

That smells like something fishy is happening in the company, the details of which haven't been properly disclosed to the public. Why would a guy who spent his entire career working on GPUs and spent 10+ years at ATI/AMD suddenly leave, especially at a time when HD7900 series is kicking ass? Read diluting AMD into the low- and mainstream- brand and completely planning to give up the high-end on GPUs and CPUs? I hope not.
3 1 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 02/14/12 05:59:28 PM]

AMD is sinking, rat off the ship.
3 1 [Posted by: Tukee44  | Date: 02/14/12 09:53:11 PM]
- collapse thread

Yup. AMD has revealed at its last financial conference that it will still chase the Fusion dream, renaming it to HAS or (Heterogeneous Systems Architecture). Rumors have it that fusion HAS is more important to Rory Read than graphics and Eric didn’t like that shift.

Another key guy, Carrell Killebrew, Director, Products Group at Advanced Micro Devices, left AMD in December of 2011. He was Eric’s wingman, and had a lot to do with AMD’s first DirectX 11 cards and Evergreen series. Let’s not forget that he helped create Eyefinity.

It looks like Read wants to change AMD and for us enthusiasts, NOT for the better.

Just take a look at the new HD7770 series pricing. Read is "on fire", that's for sure.....
1 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 02/15/12 09:54:53 AM]

Whether the cleaning lady left AMD?
1 0 [Posted by: Blackcode  | Date: 02/15/12 11:13:52 AM]


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