AMD chief technology officer resigns

Phil Hester's departure is unrelated to the chip maker's layoff plans

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Phil Hester has resigned to search for new opportunities, AMD said today.

The decision to leave was Hester's, and he left on good terms, said Rob Keosheyan, an AMD spokesman. Hester hasn't announced what he's going to do or where he's going, and the company has no plans to replace him.

Hester wasn't responsible for product or silicon development, Keosheyan said. AMD divides those responsibilities between CTOs in five business units, and that setup will continue. Hester helped establish the breakdown of product development to unit CTOs, Keosheyan said.

AMD has business units for client, handheld, digital television, graphics and server technologies.

Hester also oversaw AMD's development in technical areas such as accelerated computing, and he played a key role in its efforts to hire top engineering talent, Keosheyan said. "While he's been here, he's set up a good foundation to be successful and move forward," he said.

AMD's accelerated computing initiative, in which Hester envisioned specialized co-processors working with CPUs to accelerate specific applications, will continue under Mike Uhler, vice president of accelerated computing, Keosheyan said.

Hester's resignation is not associated with AMD's recent announcement that it will cut 10% of its work force, Keosheyan said. AMD plans to trim close to 1,650 jobs by the third quarter. The company also lowered its first-quarter revenue forecast because of "lower-than-expected sales across all business segments."

The company is struggling to ship chips on time and is losing market share Intel Corp.

Hester previously spent 23 years at IBM, where he developed systems, including the RS/6000, a Unix server that has now been merged into the Power Systems product line.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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