Category: Moving People

AMD forms new graphics business group

AMD-Technician-Poses-With-Chip-WaferAMD has formed a new business group dedicated to the company’s graphics chip business.

Raja Koduri will head the new Radeon Technologies group as its senior vice president and chief architect. Koduri will report to AMD president and CEO Lisa Su and assume responsibility for all aspects of AMD’s graphics technologies, the company said.

Su said through a statement that the company was creating the new business group to put in a place “a more agile, vertically-integrated graphics organization focused on solidifying our position as the graphics industry leader” and recapturing market share across graphics markets while going after new markets such as virtual and augmented reality.

In July, rumours swirled that AMD was considering the spinoff of its graphics chip business. AMD issued a denial after the Reuters news service reported that AMD was at the initial stage of reviewing whether to split up the company and had engaged a consulting firm to help it review such options.

Koduri, a 20-year industry vet, was most recently responsible for driving AMD’s visual and accelerated computing technology, including the development of the industry’s first graphics chip with integrated high-bandwidth memory. He has also been responsible for leading AMD’s LiquidVR virtual reality initiative.

Koduri joined AMD from Apple, where he was director of graphics architecture. Prior to joining Apple, Koduri served in graphics leadership roles at AMD and ATI.

“AMD is one of the few companies with the engineering talent and IP to make emerging immersive computing opportunities a reality. Now, with the Radeon Technologies group, we have a dedicated team focused on growing our business as we create a unique environment for the best and brightest minds in graphics to be a part of the team re-defining the industry,” he said in a statement.

Koduri, Burke and Chris Hook, director of global marketing for computing and graphics, would provide strong leadership for the new group.

Cisco redesigns its UK channel

Cisco Kid Cisco is making changes to its UK channel infrastructure and bringing all its partner teams together.

Writing in his bog, managing director of commercial & partner sales in the UK, Richard Roberts, said the changes were part of the rapidly evolving marketplace.

“All elements of our Partner team will be brought together in one organisation to drive synergies and focus, The Commercial team will also be consolidated into a single, focused, centre of sales excellence.”

Angela Whitty is taking over the UK Partner organisation. She has been working with Cisco’s UK&I Services business for almost two decades.

The current director of UKI partner and commercial sales, Sean Collins, has joined Roberts’ team to focus only on UK commercial customers.

“Sean’s team will be totally focused upon further quickening our growth in this critical market alongside our Partners,” he wrote.

Adam Grennan the country leader for Ireland, will be brought into the UK fold.

Cisco has been cutting staff. More than 400 employees from its Nexus 7000 data centre have gone and there are rumours that half the staff at Ubiquisys may be axed, and there are now rumours the Intucell acquisition may be facing an uncertain future

 

Blackberry calls in the Cisco kid

hqdefault (2)Troubled smartphone maker BlackBerry has named former Cisco Kid Carl Wiese as head of global sales – a move which is expected to shake-up the company’s channel.

Wiese has spent the past 12 years at Cisco, first heading advanced technology sales and later its collaboration-product sales efforts. Those teams focus on aspects such as security and web conferencing, areas that BlackBerry is trying to expand within.

Wiese, who has previously worked with Apple, Avaya, Lucent and Texas Instruments, will be responsible for driving its go-to-market strategy and global sales efforts.

BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen said in a statement said that Wiese had extensive experience in enterprise software and emerging technology solutions, which will be instrumental as BlackBerry moves toward stabilising revenue. Or in English, making money again.

The move comes less than three weeks after BlackBerry posted weaker-than-expected sales growth from its software business in the first quarter.

Chen, who set a software revenue target of $500 million for the current fiscal year, has built his turnaround plan around a software growth strategy, hoping sales from device-management software and fledgling areas like the Internet of

Things can replace BlackBerry’s traditional service fee structure and falling revenue from smartphone sales.

BlackBerry declined to comment on whether Wiese’s appointment, which followed his successor John Sims’ exit was tied to weaker-than-expected software revenue growth. But it is expected that he will look to the channel to improve the company’s bottom line.

BlackBerry is also widely expected to debut a new Android-based smartphone this year in an attempt to boost its hardware sales.

Botched McAfee deal claimed Renee James’ job

jamesThe dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn that the high profile exit of Renee James, president of Intel and head of the software group was because of the silly McAfee deal.

When Chipzilla wrote a check for McAfee  many people wondered why, and suspected it was about getting security onto the chip and other such plausible reasons. However since very little has emerged as a result of this deal, there were whispers that suggested that the whole McAfee thing was stupid.

Officially James is leaving to pursue an “external CEO role.” James will remain with the company until January to help out.

However that is not really how it works. Executives don’t announce what they are doing and they certainly don’t stay on if they are going to work for a rival.

Citibank research analyst Christopher Danely, James wasn’t doing all that well at her main job.

James was largely responsible for leading Intel’s $7.7 billion acquisition of McAfee in 2011, a merger that made absolutely no sense to anyone but a McAfee shareholder.

Intel’s software business had grown just 2.5 per cent  in the last three years, Danely pointed out.

When Intel bought the McAfee business it generated 2010 revenue of $2.1 billion with operating margins of roughly 11 percent. McAfee revenues have remained roughly flat since the company was bought, while operating margins have declined to the mid-single digit range, Daneley said.

It is starting to look like James took the fall for the waste of money on McAfee and underperforming software group.

It is also possible that Intel will have to do something with its underperforming security arm. Last week it borged McAfee and stopped it being independent any more, as our sister publication TechEye faithfully reported.

John Byrne joins Dell

AMD's John ByrneDell has appointed a vice president of sales strategy and operations – and it’s charismatic Scotsman, John Byrne,  who has bagged the job.

John Byrne could well be described as an industry veteran and is well known to practically everyone in the UK channel business.

After a long stint at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), John decided to take some time off with his family.

But you can’t keep a John Byrne down for long, and he said: “Great to work at a company led by an industry legend like Michael Dell.”

ChannelEye sends our best wishes to him.

EMC names new channel supremo

kevin_sparks_emcEMC has confirmed Kevin Sparks is to replace Russell Poole as director of alliances and channels for the UK and Ireland.

Poole has been doing rather well for himself climbing the greasy pole within EMC. He replaced Terry Beale as EMC’s head of channel just last August has been promoted to the position of senior director, enterprise sales for EMEA.

Sparks joined EMC five years ago and was most recently the vendor’s cloud and service provider sales manager. He has 22 years of experience in technology sales and marketing, including leadership roles at Ericsson and BT, before joining EMC.

He has to evolve EMC’s channel business in the UK&I which has been getting better of late and might be showing signs of opposable thumbs.

EMC has been trying to transform its relationships with the channel and distribution businesses over the last few years. Sparks’ will “work closely with the partner community to help them find additional value from their relationship with EMC” which we guess means a generous drinks cabinet for thirsty channel partners.

 

Dell puts more beef into the channel

Dell logoThere was a time when putting the word Dell next to the word channel would produce sheer disbelief in a reader.

But those times are no more.

Today Dell said it has bolstered its channel team as well as announcing incentives and rebates for its channel partners.

The company said it has introduced a programme called “AllStars”, intended for its networking channel to do more business with the companies. Its partners get customer support and initiatives like training. The programme also gives premier and preferred partners in Europe access to C-level sales and marketing councils.

It also said that it has introduced the Vostro 15 3000 business networks aimed at SMEs and giving channel partners incentivies.

Dell has also appointed our old mate Sarah Shields as UK sales executive director and general manager for the UK. Sarah will look after a number of different routes to market.

Sarah said: “Our partners continue to pivotal… I look forward to continuing to build Dell’s offering to ensure that it meets the need of our partners across the UK.”

And Ralf Jordan has been appointed as executive director of EMEA broadline distribution.

 

SAP founder dies

Klaus-TschiraThe bloke who created an empire based on really expensive management software, which no one was quite sure what it did, has died.

Klaus Tschira, one of the co-founders of European software giant SAP, has died unexpectedly at the age of 74, his foundation said.

Tschira,  a trained physicist, left IBM to found SAP in 1972 together with four IBM colleagues: Hasso Plattner, who is still the company’s chairman, Dietmar Hopp, Hans-Werner Hector and Claus Wellenreuther.

SAP began by developing software that could process data in real time rather than overnight in batches, and went public in 1988.

It is now Europe’s biggest technology company, with revenues of $18.9 billion and had more than 74,000 employees in 2014.

He also founded the Klaus Tschira Foundation (KTF) in 1995 as a non-profit organisation to support projects in natural and computer sciences and mathematics.

Tschira, a billionaire, stepped down from SAP’s supervisory board in 2007. He is survived by his wife Gerda Tschira and two sons.

Samsung set to shake the management dice

Samsung rules the roostGiant Korean company Samsung looks set to shuffle its leadership following a year which has seen its mobile fortunes dip.

The Wall Street Journal, quoting people “familiar with the matter” is tipping the toppling of mobile head JK Shin – he’s the co-CEO of a company that has made in its time everything from motor cars to aircraft jet engines.

And if Shin loses his job, it could be to another co-CEO, BK Yoon, a man in charge of its TV and washing machine businesses.

The job could however go to its third co-CEO, Kwon Oh-hyun.  He’s a semiconductor man and also looks after Samsung’s display panels.

The reason why Samsung has this unusual triumvirate in place is because its chairman Lee Kun-hee had a heart attack this year and is out of play at the chaebol.

Samsung is under pressure from companies in China and in India that don’t have the large overhead it has in terms of manufacturing and headcount.

In the UK, heads have already rolled and the company is still looking to appoint a replacement after the last appointee only lasted a few months.

IBM reshuffles its deck

vov24k_mediumIBM has reshuffled its senior management in a bid to turn around the outfit’s flagging fortunes.

Martin Jetter, who was credited with fixing Biggish Blue’s  Japanese operation has been shifted to senior vice president and head of its global technology services unit.

Jetter, who currently heads IBM’s operations in Japan, will initially report to Erich Clemanti and will succeed him as head of the services unit on January 1, when Clemanti will move to another unnamed senior leadership role.

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said that Jetter was Big Blue’s Mr Fixit and led a remarkable transformation of IBM Japan, returning it to growth. Previously he did the same thing with  IBM Germany and GBS in Europe. “In each case, he and his team have moved quickly to embrace new approaches and new thinking,” Rometty said.

IBM has been falling behind as it struggles to keep up with shifts in the industry as hardware becomes increasingly commoditized. Lately, the outfit which was once best known for mainframe computers, has been moving to higher-margin businesses such as security software and cloud services, but growth in those areas has failed to offset other company weaknesses.

Last month, IBM paid $1.5 billion to Globalfoundries to take its loss-making semiconductor unit off its hands.

Forrest joins AMD

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<p>© ParamountAMD has hired a former Dell senior executive to lead the chipmaker’s push into microservers.

AMD said that Forrest Norrod will be senior vice president and general manager of AMD’s enterprise, embedded and semi-custom business group and report to Chief Executive Lisa Su.

Norrod, 49, ran Dell’s server business and joins AMD as the company develops chips for new low-power servers that might challenge heavyweight Intel in cutting-edge data centres.

AMD has been expanding into new markets including low-power “microservers” and game consoles, but progress has been slow.

Earlier this month, Su took over as CEO, replacing Rory Read. Norrod fills Su’s previous position, which she had held temporarily since July.

Following Su’s appointment as CEO, AMD announced on Oct. 16 it was cutting 7 percent of its workforce to reduce costs.

Dell was the man behind the creation of Dell’s first internal startup focused on the hyper-scale datacentre market as the vice president and general manager, Data Center Solutions (DCS). He held several engineering leadership roles previously at Dell, starting as CTO of Client Products before leading Enterprise Engineering and ultimately having responsibility for all of Dell’s global engineering teams.

Prior to Dell, he ran the integrated x86 CPU business at Cyrix and National Semiconductor.

Google plays Amazon red herring

red herringAs Google continues to be investigated by the European Union, chairman Eric Schmidt has decided to deflect criticism by saying that Amazon is its biggest search rival.

In a speech in Berlin, Schmidt – who has repeatedly denied that Google is a monopolistic player – he also took time to diss rivals Bing and Yahoo, saying they don’t matter at all.

According to the BBC, Schmidt said that people didn’t see Amazon as a search engine but most people go there when they want to buy something, rather than Google.

How Schmidt thinks this kind of argument will have any weight with the European Union is hard to fathom.

He said: “Amazon is answering users’ questions and searches, just as we are.”

Google isn’t the be and end of it all, added Schmidt. In a note of paranoia he suggested that somewhere will be new technology that will topple it from its premier position.

Microsoft shuffles its board

Visa's ScharfTwo senior executives from non technology sectors have been appointed to the board of Microsoft, while two existing board members have stepped down.

Microsoft said that Teri List-Stoll, chief financial officer of Kraft Foods and Charles W. Scharf, CEO of Visa, will take up their new positions on the 1st of October.

At the same time, Dave Marquardt and Dina Dublon are to retire from the board following Microsoft’s annual shareholders meeting in December. The board constitues 12 individuals.

Scharf, 49, pictured has been CEO of Visa since November 2012 and before that was a senior executive at JP Morgan Chase.  List-Stoll, 51, from Kraft previously worked at Procter and Gamble.

Microsoft’s chairman, John Thompson said the appointments were to help the company transform itself into something completely different.

CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella said that List-Stoll brings “exceptional” financial and operational expertise and had wide knowledge from working for decades in consumer and retail industries.  Scharf brings a “deep understanding of how commerce is changing globally”.

Intel falls into ARM’s arms

Intel-logoIn one of those strange twists of fate that dog the semiconductor industry, it appears X86 giant Intel is now one of the biggest licensees of ARM tech on the planet, now it is a foundry business. ARM, of course, offers an advantage over X86 servers in terms of both functionality and heat. Intel is considerably boosting ARM revenues, according to well informed sources close to the facts.

Actually, INTC has always had a lot of foundry business. It was forced by American authorities to guarantee that production of DEC’s Alpha microprocessor continued until the end of the decade, as we reported earlier at the INQster and the Rogister years back. Intel also had and probably still has a StrongARM licence – an opportunity Chipzilla signally missed back in the days.

It also still makes HP chips. Perhaps that is because of the peculiar nature of the partnership between Intel and HP.

Intel reacted very badly to the news.

Anna Cheng, the UK spinner for Intel, sent a snottogram to the Eyes saying that the world+dog knew it made ARM chips. She said that she objected to the fact that the Eyes blank carbon copied other people at Intel – including Chuck Mulloy – asking for clarification. She scolded the Eyes for not going through proper channels.

We responded by saying that we had in our possession many Intel “confidential” emails describing me – in no uncertain terms – as an old buffer.

ARM refused to comment, but it is quids in because of Intel’s decision to fab up the unique British designs…

Intel replays marketing card

Intel-logoBecause Intel has so few products to show at its expensive upcoming Intel Developer Forum in September in San Francisco, it will play its old three card trick and show off new logos and marketing plans instead. Ailing Intel, it seems, has run out of “innovation”.

That’s according to reliable sources within the corporation that told the Eyes that newly formed CEOs need marketing ideas because product ideas are few on the ground.

The source – based in Asia – told the Eyes that it had attempted to convince ex CEO Paul Otellini that the marketing needed changing to a retro kind of thing, but had come up against determined opposition from the then CEO.

But facing ruin because it was slow off the mark with chips for tablets and for smartphones, instead Intel will attempt to bamboozle the world with marketing. The newly born CEO – and the INTC board are  up for it.

The re-branding will re-position Intel as a 21st century company that doesn’t really invent technology any more. Just manufacture it.

Although we don’t have the new logos and that yet, expect a blast of marketing publicity that talks a lot about not very much at all, faced with the opposition. Oh, that’s not AMD, by the way.