It was announced a few minutes ago that Sean Pelletier, Senior Technical Marketing Manager – Windows, Windows RT, and Apple at Nvidia now has a similar title at AMD. This move has two very interesting implications the first of which is that AMD has hired someone to lead the technical charge with the press. While AMD has had technical marketing/technical press people in the past, none tend to be nearly as aggressive or proactive as the ones at Nvidia. One person does not signal a sea change, but the talk of late has been that AMD is moving towards rectifying this disparity and now we have concrete evidence of just that happening.
Key people leaving Nvidia for the competition is not something that has happened that much in the recent past either, especially those not in management. If you read Mr. Pelletier’s Linkedin page, you can see that he is both quite key and why this move has deep meaning. He is the one in change of marketing, strategy, and “Responsible for all GTM activities and review cycles” for most of the company’s growing product lines. His job is to know and/or make Nvidia’s technical marketing strategies and explain that to the press, help partners understand them, and do the product evaluations necessary to win in the market. Lets just say Nvidia has been much better at this than AMD in the past, it hasn’t been a close fight.
And now this person is leaving Nvidia and going to AMD to do much the same thing. At worst he can even the playing field, at best he can tip the balance toward AMD. This brings up the question of why he would leave Nvidia, they tend to pay better, give their marketing people much more freedom to work, and are generally more supportive of the kind of activities that technical marketing people do. While Sean would not say anything about his former employer when SemiAccurate talked to him this morning, there seems to be one obvious reason why he might leave.
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Disclosures: Charlie Demerjian and Stone Arch Networking Services, Inc. have no consulting relationships, investment relationships, or hold any investment positions with any of the companies mentioned in this report.