Frank Azor, one of the co-founders of the Alienware brand that Dell scooped up in 2006, is leaving the company in July "to take on a new challenge." It's not clear where exactly he will end up, though rumors point to Azor having accepted a role at AMD as Chief Gaming Officer.
The Alienware brand dates all the way back to 1996. At the time a boutique system builder, Dell bought Alienware and continued to offer high-performance and uniquely stylized PCs, laptops, and peripherals under the Alienware name. To this day, Alienware exists as a separate product family from Dell's XPS line.
In his current role that is set to expire on July 3, Azor serves as the general manager of Alienware, Gaming, and XPS at Dell. He has been a big part of Dell's efforts in the PC gaming space, including the company's more affordable Inspiron Gaming line, launched in 2017.
I’ll be taking a new opportunity to help continue to grow the gaming industry. @Alienware and @Dell will always be family, and I know they will continue to deliver the best experiences and products in the industry. (2/2) https://t.co/CQvi9NrS0gJune 24, 2019
Azor announced his pending departure in a series of tweets and in a post on the Alienware Arean forums. On Twitter, Azor says he has found "a new opportunity to help continue to grow the gaming industry," but has not clarified where exactly he is headed.
According to WCCFTech, he is bound for AMD. Forbes and HotHardware have apparently heard the same thing, though as of this writing, nothing official in that regard has been announced by either AMD or Azor.
If he does land at AMD, it will be a major win for the company. AMD is firing on all cylinders these days, having recently unveiled its third-generation Ryzen desktop processors and new Navi GPUs. Meanwhile, AMD is fighting a PC gaming war on two fronts—with Intel, which has plans of releasing a discrete GPU in 2020, and with Nvidia.
Intel has been scooping up talent left and right in preparation for its discrete GPU launch next year, including some prominent marketing execs that formerly worked at AMD, such as Chris Hook and Darren McPhee. For AMD to snag Azor, it is a bit of a big deal.
In his farewell message, Azor said that "leaving [Alienware] is hard," which is probably an understatement, given his longstanding history with the company.