EXCLUSIVE: AMD RTG Boss Mike Rayfield Retires Amidst Chatter About ‘Disengaged Behavior’

Usman Pirzada

I was just tipped off about a pretty big shakeup to AMD's leadership: Michael J. Rayfield has just retired from his position as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Radeon Technologies Group, AMD. This decision happened today and I have heard some pretty interesting chatter about the details surrounding his retirement.

AMD's SVP and GM RTG, Mike Rayfield leaves the company amidst chatter surrounding 'disengaged behavior', David Wang to be interim lead

My source informed me that Mr. Mike Rayfield had been disengaged from his responsibilities and had been demonstrating "abrasive" attitude in his day to day activities. I want to remain neutral on the subject so here's the crux of my talk with my source:

Rayfield was disengaged and very superficial. He would delete all his emails each week that he could not get around reading and would never work weekends or after 5 PM. He would pontificate in an abrassive manner and couldn't remember any names [ of his peers].

Rayfield denied to Lisa Su that there was a talent problem and that the talent that had recently exited form AMD wasn't actually an issue. He diend that there was a talent war going on [Usman: You can read up about the talent war here]

He presented suggestions that werent really feasible such as 'Radeon VII ' which was to be a Vega 20 based consumer facing part that cost $750 to build and would barely tie in with an [NVIDIA] GTX 1080 Ti.

Mike Rayfield will be officially retiring at the end of the year and David Wang is going to be taking the interim leadership position for Radeon Technologies Group while the company searches for new leadership. This would mean interesting things for RTG as the leadership dynamics change just over a year after Raja Koduri left for Intel. I reached out to an AMD spokesperson and they had the following to say:

[AMD] denies the above and states that Mike's choice to leave the company is based on his own "personal choice to retire to spend more time with his family and has nothing to do with his performance.". They also said they were unaware of any issues surrounding his behavior that my source mentioned and wanted to reiterate that this was just an ordinary retirement.

AMD's website describes Mike Rayfield as

As AMD senior vice president and general manager of the Radeon Technologies Group (RTG) at AMD, Mike Rayfield is responsible for all aspects of strategy and business management for AMD consumer graphics, professional graphics, and semi-custom products. Rayfield brings more than 30 years of technology industry experience focused on growth, building deep customer relationships, and driving results.

Rayfield joined AMD from Micron Technology, where he was senior vice president and general manager of the Mobile Business Unit. Under Rayfield’s leadership, Micron’s mobile business achieved significant revenue growth and improved profitability. Prior to Micron, Rayfield served as general manager of the Mobile Business Unit at Nvidia, where he led the team that created Tegra.

Previously, Rayfield held executive and business operations roles at Cisco Systems, Texas Instruments, and other technology companies.

Rayfield received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Vermont.

This is a developing story and the content may be updated with more information.

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