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AMD evaporates CTO post

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AMD Chief Technology Officer Phil Hester has resigned. And he will not be replaced.

The Wall Street Journal leaked word of Hester's departure this morning, and company spokesman Drew Prairie confirmed the news with The Reg.

In his role as global CTO, Hester was responsible for driving AMD's "technical vision and technical directions," and his "primary focus" was the company's so-called accelerated computing initiative - an effort to incorporate specialized third-party silicon into AMD chip platforms.

"[Hester] was not in an engineering position," Prairie told us. "He wasn't driving the day-to-day engineering operations for the company. He and his team were looking out further and helping to set direction and chart a course, with a primary focus on accelerated computing."

The accelerated computing initiative will continue. But the global CTO post will not.

"We don't have plans to continue the position," Prairie said. "Each of our business units had and will continue to maintain their own CTOs. These people are responsible for driving technology forward when it comes to product development, processor roadmaps, etc."

For the most part, the rest of Hester's global CTO team will be sprinkled across these business units. Mike Uhler, AMD's new vice president of accelerated computing, will continue to oversee the initiative, but will now report directly to CEO Hector Ruiz.

Earlier this week, the company said it would lay off 10 per cent of its workforce over the next two fiscal quarters as it continues to play catchup with Chipzilla. Ruiz says he expected the company to return an operating profit in Q3.

Hester arrived at AMD in September of 2005, from a startup known as Newisys. Before that, he was with IBM. ®

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