Clone chip maker Advanced Micro Devices suffered a hammer blow yesterday when chip mastermind Vinod Dham quit unexpectedly.
Dham supervised the introduction of the Pentium platform at Intel before he was poached away from the chip giant to join Nexgen. That company was subsequently bought by AMD for $800 million.
Dham masterminded the return of AMD to the technology fold with the introduction of its K6 processor.
He also masterminded the introduction of 3D chip technology at AMD, with two versions to be rolled out next year.
But AMD has turned in bad financial results in recent months, and Jerry Sanders III, CEO of the company, warned Wall Street that the next quarter will also show the company in the red.
The departure of Dham is likely to have a disastrous effect on AMD?s share price. Last month, Dana Krelle, who also worked for Intel and Nexgen, and poached Dham away from the chip giant, said that Dham had installed a more serious business attitude at AMD.
But Sanders is known to have a mercurial temper and the VNU Newswire understands that the crunch came after he told Dham to make sure the process technology was working properly.
Dham?s departure leaves marketing supreme Rob Herb and VP Larry Hollatz looking after his job in the interim.
Krelle?s secretary at AMD?s headquarters in Sunnyvale, California said that he was ?travelling? while Rob Herb was unavailable for comment, just having arrived back at the HQ from its Austin fabrication plant.
Dham?s future is now uncertain but as the mastermind of both the Pentium chip, Nexgen and the AMD K6 processor, he will be sorely missed.
Joe D?Elia, senor semiconductor analsyt at Dataquest UK, said that Dham?s loss would not necessarily affect AMD?s position.
He said: ?One person leaving should not really impact them but the question is, when someone like that goes, who is going to follow. It?s that kind of impact that?s more the issue.?
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