AMD reorg merges microprocessor, graphics units

Troubled chipmaker's second reorganization in little more than a year will combine its microprocessor and graphics units.

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Advanced Micro Devices has launched a reorganization that will see the chipmaker's microprocessor and graphics units merged into a single group.

The products group--one of four new groups announced Wednesday--will be headed by graphics chip executive Rick Bergman, who joined AMD after its $5.4 billion acquisition of graphics chip company ATI in 2006. The chipmaker said the other three groups would focus on technology, marketing, and customers.

"The next generation of innovation in the computing industry will be grounded in the fusion of microprocessor and graphics technologies," AMD CEO Dirk Meyer said in a statement. "With these changes, we are putting the right organization in place to help enable the future of computing."

The company also announced that Randy Allen, who oversaw processor and chipset development as senior vice president of AMD's Computing Solutions Group, is leaving the company. His departure comes one year after being elevated to that position in another companywide reorganization.

There was no indication of what Allen's plans are, but Meyer called Allen "an important engineering and business leader who has played a key role in many of AMD's most significant achievements in recent years."

The changes come as AMD tries to compete better with chip giant Intel in the aftermath of the botched roll-out of Barcelona, its first quad-core server processor. Hector Ruiz, then CEO of AMD, in 2007 blamed the chip's "complicated" design for the delay of more than six months before the chip was ready for release, causing AMD to lose market share and revenue to Intel.

In November, the troubled chipmaker announced its second round of layoffs in 12 months, part of plan announced in April 2008 to reduce its workforce by 10 percent.