AMD has named a new chief technology officer (CTO). Newisys founder Phil Hester will take over the job from Fred Weber who is stepping down to "explore new opportunities".

Weber, who is credited with leading the engineering teams that developed AMD's Opteron and Athlon 64 processors, will leave the company after a transition period of several weeks. Hester will officially replace him on Monday, after 23 years at IBM and five years at his most recent job developing servers based on Opteron.

Opteron opened doors previously closed to AMD among server customers at enterprises around the world. The processor's 64-bit extensions to the x86 instruction set and integrated memory controller allowed the chip to outperform competing designs from Intel on certain applications, and took AMD's server market share from virtually nothing to more than ten percent.

Hester said he plans to build on Weber's accomplishments during his early days at AMD. "Fred has done a good job with x86-64 [an early code name for the Opteron project]. You start with that as a foundation, and then build on that with great relationships with industry partners."

While at IBM, Hester ran the technology end of IBM's PC division for several years and was responsible for working with Intel, AMD, Microsoft and Linux vendors to implement their technology in IBM's PCs, he said.

Hester will report to AMD COO Dirk Meyer. He said he had several goals in mind for AMD's future processor development, including versions of Opteron for high-end multi-processor servers. He'd also like to help AMD develop its new mobile processor effort, an area where AMD has yet to make the same progress against Intel that it has in the desktop and server markets.

"One of the things I really believe in is efficiency. That means software applications that can easily port and run [on AMD chips], efficient processors from a power management standpoint, and things that can be put into the silicon to make the user environment more friendly and robust," Hester said.