Arik Hesseldahl

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Michael Goddard, a 25-year AMD Veteran, Jumps to Samsung

ejection_seatAdd another name to the list of veterans decamping from troubled chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices to other jobs amid an ongoing reorganization and recent job cuts.

The latest is Michael Goddard, a 25-year AMD veteran whose last title at that company was corporate VP for product design engineering and chief engineer on client products. At AMD since 1988, according to his LinkedIn profile he changed jobs this month, joining South Korean chip giant Samsung as a VP and system architect at its facility in Austin, Texas.

During his years at AMD, Goddard (pictured), a deeply respected engineer at the company, worked closely in the late 1990s with Dirk Meyer, the AMD engineer who later served as its CEO from 2008 to 2011. He also spent some time with AMD’s design operations in India. People close to AMD were surprised by the move, and say its unlikely that Goddard was pushed out. Goddard couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, though he has been spotted at industry events in recent days quietly telling people he had started the new job at Samsung. An AMD spokesman confirmed Goddard’s departure, adding that the company is continuing to make strategic hires.

michael_goddardGoddard’s move comes amid a talent exodus from AMD. Before Goddard, at least 26 executives of varying levels of seniority left the company in recent months. Some were fired in earlier rounds of reorganizations ordered by CEO Rory Read, some left for new jobs.

The company cut 15 percent of its workforce this fall and is expected to cut even more jobs early in 2013. It has also been reported to be exploring options, code companies use when they’re considering a breakup or sale, though AMD has since strenuously denied that it is actively seeking a buyer.

In fairness, it hasn’t been all departures at AMD. In August, it hired Jim Keller, the former head chip designer at Apple. And last year it hired its CIO away from Hewlett-Packard.

AMD shares fell today by more than 2 percent to $2.43. The shares have fallen by more than 55 percent this year.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus