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NVIDIA's Tom 'TAP' Petersen Shockingly Departs The Company

Tom Petersen
NVIDIA is losing its longtime Director of Technical Marketing, Tom "TAP" Petersen, who announced on Friday that he had wrapped up his final day with the firm. It is not clear where Tom will end up or what he has planned next, though we have a suspicion he will go where other stalwarts in the graphics industry have recently gone. More on that in a moment.
Tom is a veteran in the industry and an all around good dude. Before landing at NVIDIA in 2005, he spent the bulk of his career as a CPU designer, having worked with IBM and Motorola on the PowerPC team. He also spent some time with Broadcom after it acquired SiByte, where he was the Engineering Director for the BCM1400, an embedded quad-core multiprocessor.

His departure from NVIDIA after nearly a decade and a half feels as sudden as these things ever are, and we get the sense it was not an easy decision. When you are with a company for that long, it often feels like a family, and not just a place of employment.

"Today was my last day as an NVIDIA employee. I'll miss them. They carried me through some tough times and I am eternally grateful," Tom wrote on his Facebook page on Friday.

Looking Ahead

So, what is next for Tom? He did not say, though he did tell HotHardware's Editor-in-Chief Dave Altavilla that "We will see each other again." Putting on our speculation derby, we read that to mean he has something already lined up, likely in the tech industry.

Bearing in mind that nothing has been confirmed, we would not be the least bit surprised if he ended up at Intel, which itself is developing a line of discrete GPUs for launch in 2020. Intel has been aggressive in poaching talent, having lured AMD's former Radeon Technologies Group boss Raja Koduri to lead its graphics team.
Intel also snagged Chris Hook, AMD's former Sr. Director of Global Product Marketing, to promote its graphics. When it was first announced that Hook was leaving AMD after nearly two decades of service, we speculated he would end up at Intel, and he did.
Other big names that have landed at Intel include Jim Keller, former lead architect at AMD who more recently served as VP of Autopilot Hardware Engineering at Tesla, and Darren McPhee, another industry veteran who at one point worked at AMD.
To our knowledge, though, Intel has not hired any former NVIDIA bigwigs. Tom could be the first, if that is where he ends up, and he would be a significant addition to Intel's graphics team. Bringing Tom on board would also align with Intel's current strategy, which is to market the heck out of its discrete GPU plans and be engaged with the community.

Or he could land somewhere else. Whatever is in Tom's future, all of us at HotHardware wish him the very best.

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