This is surprisingly big news coming from AMD today.  A press release hit my email box just today that discusses Phil Hester, the new CTO of AMD and mentioned very briefly is the “departing CTO Fred Weber.”  Fred being the primary designer of the K8 architecture that has brought AMD such success, I can’t help but wonder why AMD would have let him go and how this will affect future products.

Prior to joining AMD, Hester was the founder and CEO of Austin, Texas based Newisys, which was among the first companies to design and manufacture enterprise-class, multi-processor servers based on the AMD Opteron™ processor. Before founding Newisys, Hester spent 23 years at IBM in several strategic management positions, including CTO of the PC Division, general manager of the Integrated Product Solutions division, and vice president of hardware development for the RS/6000 Division. Hester was also one of 15 members of IBM’s Corporate Technology Council, reporting directly to Lou Gerstner, which was the group responsible for identifying, evaluating, and recommending IBM-wide strategies for key technologies.

Hester will take over responsibilities from Fred Weber, who is leaving AMD to explore new opportunities in early-stage technology ventures.