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Silicon Graphics

SGI CEO Belluzzo Resigns 76

dpreformer writes "Belluzzo has resigned and Bob Bishop is now acting head of SGI. We copuld probably all see this coming with the recent news of SGI spinning off its NT workstation and Cray divisions. Morale at SGI must be pretty low about now. 1500 layoffs, another couple of thousand working for spinoffs." A lot of good engineers over there, ya gotta hope things can be sorted out soon.
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SGI CEO Belluzzo Resigns

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  • > Anyone care to chime in with their suggestions as to what SGI needs to do to right the ship?

    Hire Steve Jobs? Worked for Apple :P

    I don't know a lot about SGI, but from reading the comments here (always an unbiased source of information :) it sounds like they need someone with some vision to put them back on course.

  • bull crap.

    that is ridiculous.

    If software vendors are not "allowed" to sell their products for linux by you liquid-brained, basement-lurking linux monkeys, your little operating system will go down and fast.

    give me a break already.
  • a.) Please, please check your grammar.

    b.) Linux (and linux software) is only free if your time is worthless.

    c.) I have many friends in the high-end industries using high-end costly workstations and high end costly software (that's right, they paid dollars for it) "surviving" just fine. Thriving, in fact.
  • I have a default 2, so it's all my fault :-(.

    SGI has a lot of problems, but I think reports of their demise are exaggerated.

    The former CEO bet his chairmanship on the NT workstations. I see him leaving as a positive move - they know NT hasn't worked, and they have to pick another strategy.


  • who wrote those cool games for the Apple II like Dung Beetles?
  • What if they merged with Apple? They're both pretty big in the graphics industry. Or are they just *too* different?
  • notice that the inhouse "adfu" system appears to have been ditched in favor of "webfarm.mediaplex.com" This is not a flame, draw your own conclusions.
  • Good time to buy SGI stock if you ask me. :)

    Bowie J. Poag
  • It's funny, it seems from reading comp.sys.sgi.admin and comp.sys.sgi.misc that the SGI employees (at least the vocal ones) are still fairly happy about the way things are going at SGI.. I have a few friends internally there, and they apparently are still drinking the Kool-Aid as well.

    I just hope things work out for them in the long run.. it'd be sad to see another Cool UNIX Company (tm) like NeXT go down the tubes.

  • Well, I'm a UI geek, so the underlying heinousness of Mach and the relatively mediocre hardware hold no truck with me :) Thankfully, both WebObjects and the NeXTStep UI live on...

  • And wouldn't you know it... I bought some this morning. Hi Bowie! Nice site (one of my al time favorites)!
    Howard Roark, Architect
  • NeXT was a hardware company, and a proprietary closed one at that (just ask the Black Hardware Linux port group). I consider the fact that they designed some excellent software a fortunate side-effect of the effort, and I'm glad Objective-C and some of the object design they created still lives to this day. NeXT could have been the worst thing to happen to hardware had they succeeded.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I asked before and I ask again: Why do companies ally themselves with either Intel or Microsoft? The one Unix company that had little to do with either, Sun, is the one doing the best. (Well there's IBM but they're so huge they're able to do everything at once...) It's not that Intel or Microsoft are inherently evil, it's just that they're extremely good at looking out for their own interests and only their own interests. It is perhaps impossible for a large company to form a successful alliance with either. Intel and Microsoft in their own interests would prefer their technology to be distributed by several competitors, so how can an ally find a high profit margin niche? In the long run I don't think it can be done. I find it tragic that a misguided executive such as Belluzzo would be allowed to damage or even destroy not just one but two companies, HP and SGI, in pursuit of his faulty vision.
  • SGI had already decided to make partnerships with Intel and Microsoft before McCracken was ousted and replaced by Belluzzo. It was Belluzzo's job to announce the decisions to the world, and to try to work with those commitments as best he could. -- An anonymous former SGI employee
  • Bear in mind that the existing MIPS-based businesses were doing better than expected, and you'd probably say there are a lot of folks over there saying "I told you so".

    A strategy based on Linux support for their hardware plus porting their Alias | Wavefront software to Linux strikes me as a far better bet than depending on the dubious alliance offered by Microsoft. If their advantage in workstations dries up, Alias is still a viable business, and I think there would always be a market for hardware/software bundles using a specifically optimized Alias.

    I think what the world really wants from SGI are not semi-generic NT systems, but real workstations at a more reasonable price point. That's still the lifeblood of the company, as far as I can see.


  • Now is the time to reverse some of the evil, useless and stupid changes wrought upon the company for no good reason...

  • Did you realize that there have been more stories about SGI on Slashdot over the last few months than there have been on Sun?

    For all the company has gone through, there is an incredibly loyal base of people who want to buy their Next Cool Thing (and I number myself among them).

    All they need to do is product a good workstation that runs some kind of Unix (Irix or Linux, their pick [*]), sell it at a reasonable price (say about the same price point as the VWS), and the customers will come running back.

    If they can just get their management problems under control, I see a bright future. It's kinda like Apple - they have too many customers who love their products for them to fail. Their mistake in embracing NT was to disappoint those customers.


    [*] Irix might be preferable; if Linux, include ports of their Alias|Wavefront packages so we have something to run on the shiny new machine.

  • Re: http://pmitros.mit.edu/sgistrat

    Response: utter nonsense.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The mid range gfx group is also being canned. Many of them are moving to NVidia, though not all. Recently, the last manager left the group. The Buzz chip (now two years late) is still scheduled to come out though one may entertain doubts...
  • Dave, thanks for updating your "Buying an
    SGI system FAQ" recently!

    Your page sent me on my twisted and tourtured
    way! :)

  • Some market capitalizations to ponder:

    RHAT [yahoo.com]: $4.269B
    SGI [yahoo.com]: $2.348B

    Anybody think that Red Hat is really worth almost twice SGI?

    Why'd you say 'burma'?
  • Hmm, that's cause compiling is almost completely
    processor bound. Have you at least tried
    make -j to parallelize the compilation?

    They can't do much about making the CPU itself
    faster, just getting rid of the bottlenecks
    around it.

    Insanity Takes Its Toll. Please Have Exact Change

  • feel bad for the people at SGI, first that stupid logo now this. SGI has had a really hard time in the past few years. Way back when they were the cream of the crop in just about every sandbox they played in. Now they have to borrow everyone else's toys because they dont think theirs are good enough. I think one of the biggest problems for them was the maturation of the IA-32 into something that was truely enterprise class. Three years ago the Pentium Pro was king shit over at Intel, it failed miserably in comparison to the MIPS or UltraSPARCs of the day. But then the Pentium II and such upper class chips started coming out and Windows because a real power player in the workstation market, not because of it's great quality or power but because it was a might cheaper than an O. People use what they can afford, especially small businesses who don't need to render the universe for fun. This means Wintel is in and SGI and DEC are out. DEC just died and will probably never be revived. SGI came under their "new management" and started with their damnable NT Workstations. This may have been nice but they completely abandoned what they did well, which was very high end Unix workstations and servers. The NT workstations SGI was selling were supposed to catch your eye with the brand spany new SGI logo, catch enough of your eye you didnt see the incredible price tag. Sorry Dell and Compaq are already solid in the wintel workstation business. SGI has been getting out niched and now don't know what to do about it. They should probably look to Apple and Sun for inspiration. Instead of tryingto do whats already been done, do something new and useful. While Sun hasn't done too much that can be considered new, they've really worked hard on their packaging, offering complete solutions for just about all sizes of business which is doing well for them. Apple completely reevaluated itself and went through a rebirth. They really kicked off and drove the cheap, feature laden home PC. SGI needs to get back into the server and workstation game. Do something really spectacular using the technology they've been using. Not try to compete with wintel gients like Dell and Compaq. I personally would like to see a new MIPS based design maybe even something that can use off the shelf hardware so they can supply the processors and motherboards but dont always have to supply the periphrial hardware which has a much lower return than the processor and such.
  • Maybe it's just a touch of the looking-back blues or something, that they want to get rid of the prat who lead them down the NT path for a bit?
    New direction (linux), new ceo bod, oops must get rid of old one first? :)

    'Tis a shame to see SGI looking like heading down the pan though...

  • Just a little thing to add a twist to the tail but if you look at


    where there is a nice little story where it says that Belluzzo might become the head of M$ Internet Division
  • Whenever I buy one, I update the FAQ. :-)

    Still have the Indigo2 I bought, still happy as a clam with it.


    [ http://www.amazing.com/internet/old-sgi-faq.html ]

  • An SGI programmer asked me if we were hiring while we were at Linuxworld. Apparently it's gotten so bad that people would rather work for us than SGI! Scary. ;-)

  • Since it looks like yet another round of layoffs, I believe my calculations are somewhat correct. They're saying that there are now 9.25 employees left at SGI. = )
    Good luck to them. They had such a great reserve of talent and ingenuity, and it's sad to see it floating (somewhat) at the bottom of a pool.
  • I remember reading an article about people worring about being fired for using linux. Now people are getting ousted for using Windows NT. A twist of fate I must say.

    Last time I looked SGI is worth about $12 a share I could be wrong. It might be a good idea to invest.
  • Before SGI was known as a high-end graphics unix workstation. They made their own processor, own OS, own video cards, own software.

    Now what do they do? They dumped their processor and now buy Intel. They dumped their OS to Linux (their best move). They dumped their graphics to Nvidia, and I guess they still have their software for an OS & processor that is gone.

    So who are they now??? I see a company who assembles a computer from purchased parts and sticks a SGI logo on it. What will set them appart? They want to compete with Dell or IBM with Linux installed? Is the vision to get a NVidia board and write graphics software? That doesn't sound like any better situation then they were before. Their overhead would be lower, but the PC competition would kill them.

  • As a person who's family member works at SGI I can tell you a few things ;) First off SGI hasn't written IRIX off, if anyone believes that Linux has some sort of technological advantage of IRIX they're living under a rock. SGI is moving with Linux on the Intel platform only, their normal machines will still be running Irix until Linux matures enough to replace it (which I doubt will ever happen)
  • Was it McCracken or Belluzzo who kept bringing Clinton and Gore to their site?

    For a while there was a bi-weekly round of high-tech schmoozing, photo-ops, announcements of new programs to pave information highways with tax money and to pick the winners. All based at SGI's facility. With two days of more-snarled-than-usual traffic every time.

  • Well, this news come to me just as I purchase my first SGI box. Well, its an old Indy and I am MIGHTILY impressed with the sophistication of IRIX 6.2. It's a shame SGI isn't making it.

    I heard from an employee of SGI that sun is outselling SGI on a system which sun licensed from SGI. That is.. the same system branded by SGI is selling less volume!!

    I feel sorry for the employees at SGI. But I'de like to say that I think they make very fine products, and regardless of what happens I will be a supporting fan of SGI.
  • Belluzzo might be joining Microsoft, says this [nytimes.com] cnet/NYT article.

    "When Belluzzo's resignation was announced yesterday, Silicon Graphics spokesman John Cristofano would say only that the departing CEO was leaving to take a position at a company that doesn't compete with SGI." Well, not yet, anyway... this sounds very fishy. :)

  • I'm not that familiar with SGI's other products but I've been using a Visual Workstation 320 (with that awesome flat screen monitor.. drool) and while the graphics are mind-numbingly fast (compared to the "Regular" PC I'm writing the OpenGL code on) it doesn't seem all that fast at compiling..

    Still - hardware with character is awfully hard to come by.
  • Wasn't Linux supposed to be SGI's new lease on life? Wasn't the demise of SGI's NT workstation supposed to be the heralding of increased profits from Linux? Didn't SGI develop a whole bunch of development libraries and tools? Does the real world not want a box of development libraries?
  • I should have listened to my gut instinct when Belluzo joined, but I didn't.

    About a year ago, I was on a flight to San Fransisco... I was sitting next to an SGI employee, and we chatted about Belluzo & the "new SGI". I expressed my concern that "jumping on NT" was quite a risky strategy, and even though hundreds of IT shops around the country run by pointy-hairs seem to successfully run their departments by that strategy, I'm not quite sure that a technology industry leader should.

    He reassured me that "Belluzzo is great, morale is up and SGI will kick ass."

    Unfortunately, NT flopped, and Belluzzo with it. Their only hope now is their Linux intiative, which frankly seems even more desperate than the NT initiative.

    I wish I understood SGI's culture better, because I can't see why this bandwagonism is so rampant. I really liked SGI before, and I still have a soft spot in my heart for them, but this is just ridiculous. They already have good products that have been GATHERING DUST for the last 3 years. I haven't seen a major innovation since the O2, Origin and Octane in 1996. The NT Workstation was nice, but too little too late. They made plans (and then scrapped them) for next-generation MIPS chip designs that would effectively make great strides in the data transfer bandwidth of microprocessors - far beyond anything that Intel or Sun would be offering before 2003.

    The Origin 2000 is a kick ass ccNUMA architecture and one of the fastest clusters going.. why not improve on it and find better ways to gain market acceptance?

    Why not pull a trick out of Apple's bag? That is, stick to what you know best - creating innovative, different and powerful products, while optimizing operational expenses so you can drive the prices down. Beat yourself at YOUR OWN GAME.

    The clock is ticking...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Recent messages in the sgi.misc newsgroup from senior executives clarifies that:

    a) Irix development continues, and products using it are planned into 2002

    b) products using MIPS processors are also planned into 2002

    Linux is viewed as being the choice for Intel based machines as porting Irix to Intel is not viable, and so SGI will instead work at improving Linux with the Linux community.

Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. -- F.M. Hubbard