Late last night, PC Perspective confirmed rumors that Raja Koduri, AMD's Radeon Technologies Group (RTG) Senior Vice President and Chief Architect, is to go on sabbatical. Sourcing Raja’s internal letter to the RTG team, he will be taking leave from September 25 until an unspecified date in December, to spend time with his family. Dr Lisa Su, AMD's CEO, will lead RTG in the interim.

As reproduced by Ryan Shrout, Raja’s letter is as follows:

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

Since his return to AMD in 2013 and the reformation of a monolithic graphics division with RTG in 2015, Raja has overseen and led all aspects of AMD graphics hardware and software. Raja’s public presence and involvement render him the face of graphics at AMD, in all senses of the word, from Capsaicin events to Twitter and Reddit. Following Vega’s launch, Raja had taken two weeks vacation to visit family, following visits to company sites in India.

Given the news in his letter, we hope all is well.

Source: PC Perspective

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  • valinor89 - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - link

    I agree, as I said before the succes of vega will be determined in the Compute/Pro marquet. Profit wise the gaming market is not the main one considering it costs the same to AMD to build a Vega 64 gaming GPU that it costs them to build the radeon Instinct.
  • Hurr Durr - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - link

    You keep saying how it sells so well, and still AMD is in the red for how many consequtive quarters now?
  • cekim - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - link

    While I can understand the cynicism, sabbaticals in the engineering world are a thing. So, until we hear otherwise, it is entirely reasonable to take him at his word and recognize that if your company and your market will allow such things, there's nothing wrong or sinister with this timing. At his point in the pipe, Q4 is dead. The decisions have been made, the cake is baked, what is going to happen is going to happen and nothing he has to say is going to change it between now and Q1.
  • foxalopex - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - link

    I somehow get the feeling almost all the negative commentators here are just gamers and not actual engineering developers. If it's anything like most engineers he probably worked like a dog for months to get the product out and now needs a break to recover.
  • cekim - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - link

    Exactly. As has been pointed out in these comments, such sabbaticals are part of many tech companies policy/benefits.
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - link

    This man wants to avoid burnout and divorce - how dare he! He should better sacrifice his life and soul to give the Gamerz a few more FPS!

    /sarcasm off (just in case it wasn't obvious enough)
  • Opencg - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - link

    Ok let me explain it for you. AMD was not going to compete with nvidia for the top spot (1080 ti) in gaming with polaris. This was clear for a long time before release. They MAY compete with navi. Using multiple pieces of silicon overcomes a big barrier to profit for AMD; chip yeild rates. Even nvidia is looking to make something in a similar fashon.

    Also nvidia doesnt NEED AMD to compete in order to progress. It will drive down prices yes but nvidia has had a clear advantage in architechture since maxwell and are still pushing forward faster than ever with their biggest chips yet for the 11 series. Just like the 10 series it will be a BIG leap forward while they are already ahead. AMDs only chance is a complete redesign which is navi, which is not untill 2019. 2018 will be owned by nvidia.

    As far as this guy. AMD has probably worked him to the bone like most companies trying to play catch up and this is his way of saying "Hey I need some time off. Don't like it? Well then find someone who can do it better or the same for the same ammount of money." I'm sure he deserves a break and AMD will be dying to have him back when his vacation is over. They need navi to be a success.
  • mode_13h - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - link

    "Lisa will be acting as the leader of RTG during by absence."

    LOL, as if she didn't already have enough to do.
  • beginner99 - Thursday, September 14, 2017 - link

    So this is either a soft-layoff or he has a burn-out. Both options are possible. higher-exec manager where I work had a burn-out as well and was away for 2 month then came back only to be replaced shortly after. Note: he wasn't fired but moved to a lesser position.
    So what's clear Raja is done has head of RTG.
  • Gigaplex - Thursday, September 14, 2017 - link

    Or they're simply taking a holiday to visit family. All work and no play, and all that.

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