Rivals pick at AMD's bones

AMD is losing staff to the likes of Samsung, Apple, and Qualcomm.

Forbes has been looking closely at AMD to see where the former staffers end up and it appears they do not all escape to Intel.

AMD Chief Executive Rory Read said that he is moving away from the company’s longtime feud with Intel, but it seems that he has picked a fight with new bullies on the playground.

Apple, Qualcomm, and Samsung are all after his lunch, money and staff.

Over the last five years they have headhunted graphics specialists Bob Drebin and Raja Koduri , who are now at Apple; processor designer Keith Hawkins, now at Samsung; and Eric Demers, who has reportedly been grabbed by Qualcomm.

AMD founder Jerry Sanders who stepped down as AMD CEO in 2002, when told of the defections said that they just broke his heart.

Sanders had a mantra – “people first, profits and products will follow” and that if AMD was losing those people who can new things, then it will be a tough slog.

Read has been doing his best to bring new people into the fold. There has been processor designer Mark Papermaster, a veteran of IBM, Apple, and Cisco. Lisa Su, who had run Freescale’s networking and multimedia processor businesses. Su is now general manager of AMD’s global business units.

But it does appear that things are starting to get messy at AMD, now that the days of people before profits have passed.