Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Thursday, February 20, 2020
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AMD Recruits Intel, IBM Execs; Pending Layoffs Reported at Intel Data Platform Group 

This article is an update to a story published last Friday, January 17.

AMD has raided Intel and IBM for new senior managers, one of whom will replace an AMD executive who has played a prominent role during the company’s recharged effort to win the hearts and minds of the data center server processor market.

In addition, a news report stated that Intel’s Data Center Group, now known as the Data Platform Group (led by EVP/GM Navin Shenoy), has been targeted for layoffs. In response to the article on technology news site SemiAccurate, Intel stated, “Reports of large employee reductions in our data platform business group are inaccurate.”

Reached today for additional comment, Intel spokesperson Stephen Gabriel told EnterpriseAI that information regarding the reported layoffs will be forthcoming.

"We're not commenting on the rumors and speculations that are out there in the industry," he said. "Intel has an earnings call later this week at close of market on Thursday, and we’ll be addressing some of these rumors and speculations during that earnings call."

AMD, with which Intel is locked in a struggle for server processor market share, has hired Daniel McNamara, formerly Intel’s president and general manager of the Network and Custom Logic Group, to be senior vice president and GM of AMD’s Server Business Unit. Previously, McNamara was SVP of Intel’s Programmable (i.e., FPGA) Solutions Group after Intel’s acquisition of Altera Corporation in 2015. He joined Altera in 2004.

According to CRN, McNamara will report to Forrest Norrod, AMD’s SVP/GM, Datacenter and Embedded Solutions Business Group and will replace Scott Aylor, who will leave AMD at an unannounced date later this year as AMD's corporate VP/GM of datacenter solutions.

Meanwhile, 20-year IBM veteran Joshua Friedrich, Big Blue’s former head of IBM Power development, has joined AMD as a corporate vice president and will help lead the company’s CPU-GPU-integration strategy for AMD’s data center and client processor business units, according to report from CRN today.

Aylor recently told CRN that AMD plans to integrate EPYC CPUs and Radeon Instinct GPUs. "I think you'll see a greater and greater coupling in terms of timing, capability [and] workload affinity that I think will be more the norm," Aylor told CRN.

At IBM, Friedrich was a distinguished engineer and director of Power processor development within the Server and Technology Group. His role at AMD would seem to be a natural fit, given the Power9 chip’s integration of IBM CPU, Nvidia Tesla GPU and Nvidia NVLink interconnect technologies.

As for Intel, McNamara’s exit follows that in November of Rajeeb Hazra, corporate VP of Intel’s Data Center Group and GM for the Enterprise and Government Group (see EnterpriseAI coverage) after more than 24 years at the company.

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