AMD Radeon Technologies Group’s Raja Koduri Takes Sabbatical

In a bit of non-hardware news, AMD Radeon Technologies Group’s SVP and Chief Architect Raja Koduri has announced that he will be taking a multi-month sabbatical to “spend time with my family”. Nobody can deny that AMD’s CPU and GPU teams have been in high-gear for the last year or more, releasing an almost never-ending stream of products since Ryzen CPUs launched in March. Of course that included the RX 500 series refresh, as well as the recent Vega launch. Raja describes the Vega project as very “hard”, and thanks his team for all of their work on the product.

Raja Koduri – AMD Radeon Technologies Group SVP and Chief Architect

Below is the contents of the letter that Raja sent to his team:

RTG Team,

You haven’t heard from me collectively in a while – a symptom not only of the whirlwind of launching Vega, but simply of the huge number of demands on my time since the formation of RTG. Looking back over this short period, it is an impressive view. We have delivered 6 straight quarters of double-digit growth in graphics, culminating in the launch of Vega and being back in high-performance. What we have done with Vega is unparalleled. We entered the high-end gaming, professional workstation and machine intelligence markets with Vega in a very short period of time. The demand for Vega (and Polaris!) is fantastic, and overall momentum for our graphics is strong.

Incredibly, we as AMD also managed to spectacularly re-enter the high-performance CPU segments this year. We are all exceptionally proud of Ryzen, Epyc and Threadripper. The computing world is not the same anymore and the whole world is cheering for AMD. Congratulations and thanks to those of you in RTG who helped see these products through. The market for high-performance computing is on an explosive growth trajectory driven by machine intelligence, visual cloud, blockchain and other exciting new workloads. Our vision of immersive and instinctive computing is within grasp. As we enter 2018, I will be shifting my focus more toward architecting and realizing this vision and rebalancing my operational responsibilities.

At the beginning of the year I warned that Vega would be hard. At the time, some folks didn’t believe me. Now many of you understand what I said. Vega was indeed hard on many, and my sincere heartfelt thanks to all of you who endured the Vega journey with me. Vega was personally hard on me as well and I used up a lot of family credits during this journey. I have decided to take a time-off in Q4 to spend time with my family. I have been contemplating this for a while now and there was never a good time to do this. Lisa and I agreed that Q4 is better than 2018, before the next wave of product excitement. Lisa will be acting as the leader of RTG during by absence. My sincere thanks to Lisa and rest of AET for supporting me in this decision and agreeing to take on additional workload during my absence.

I am looking to start my time-off on Sept 25th and return in December.

Thank you, all of you, for your unwavering focus, dedication and support over these past months, and for helping us to build something incredible. We are not done yet, and keep the momentum going!

Regards, Raja

Some have speculated that this note signals the stepping down of Raja from RTG, but we have no indication that that will be the case. We hope to see Raja back at RTG in December, as his note suggests. Keep in mind that Raja came back to AMD while both Polaris and Vega were already in the works, and we have not seen a new product with his influence from the start be released. Stepping into multiple ongoing projects can be a tough move, and can really take its tole on you, especially if you are in charge. So to Raja, get some rest, enjoy some time with family, and we will see you in December.