Earlier today AMD shocked the PC computing world with their announcement that they would be acquiring ATI for approximately $5.4 billion. If all goes as expected, the deal will close in the fourth quarter of this year. Like a number of press, we were given the opportunity to interview executives from both ATI and AMD and jumped at the opportunity. We then proceeded to get NVIDIA and Intel’s official response, as well as the response from the game development community. The following is a transcript of our interview with AMD-ATI. Joining us from AMD’s Global Communications Group was Jon Carvill (formerly of ATI) as well as ATI’s Director of Public Relations Chris Evenden. Let’s get to the questions!
FiringSquad: When was this deal first proposed and who approached who first?
Talks began late last year, and we approached ATI.
Can I elaborate on that? I wouldn’t want you to think that we’d just sleep with anyone (everyone laughs). In terms of going over the timeline, well the ATI board was in the middle of a major strategic review of where the company was going and how to get there. It’s actually occurred over the last 12 months actually. And our overarching goals were to remain number one or number two in all of our technology markets, so the board was looking at ways to maintain those goals.
So the board looked at it, and we could see that we had a clear runway up to two years out and then after that we were looking at ways we could keep growing and growing, and so the board looked at all the options, and we were actually looking at AMD as one of those options and it seemed to be the right one, and then next thing you know they approached us so it worked out perfectly.
FiringSquad: How is the new board of executives going to look?
Well what we can tell you is what we announced in the release today and that is that Dave Orton is going to run the ATI division and he’s going to report to the office of the CEO, which is Hector Ruiz and Dirk Meyer and the other major change beyond that is that Rick Hegberg who is the VP of worldwide sales at ATI is going to become the VP of worldwide sales for the new company, and he’s going to report to Henri Richard, who is our chief marketing and sales officer.
FiringSquad: Leaving the two companies with independent management is good in the sense that both ATI and AMD have been doing well independently. Changing things around could cause problems. On the other hand, economies of scale require integrated management, etc. What’s your plan?
Well what we’ve done in this case is Dave Orton and Bob Rivet our chief financial officer are really going to need some time to work on integration. So we’re not really saying too much at this time on what’s going to happen with that integration because the deal still has to close within the next 90 days so there’s not too much we can disclose right now. But really what we can say about those two gentleman is that they’re going to be looking at making that integration go as smooth as possible across all the teams on all levels. So we’ll disclose more information on that as we move forward, but we really can’t go into much more detail than that right now.
FiringSquad: So is the new company going to be run like two parts of a conglomerate, or a single entity? Is ATI going to remain as a brand name?
Once again, you are going to see more information on that as we move forward in the next couple of months but right now it would be really premature to start talking about what our branding plans are.