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AMD loses $1.2 billion and its CEO

By Barry Collins

Posted on 18 Jul 2008 at 07:59

AMD's chief executive officer Hector Ruiz has resigned, after the company posted second quarter losses of almost $1.2 billion.

Ruiz, who has been in the post for six years, will make way for Dirk Meyer, who was previously the company's president and COO.

Will AMD's new boss make a smarter choice? Read Darien Graham-Smith's thoughts here.

Meyer becomes only the third CEO ever of the troubled chipmaker, following Ruiz and company founder Jerry Sanders. "The time is right to turn the company over to a new leader," Ruiz said.

The company's financial results certainly lend weight to Ruiz's verdict. AMD made a loss of $1.18 billion in Q2 of 2008 on revenue of $1.349 billion.

Consequently, the company has decided to kill its operations in the handheld and digital television markets, and focus on its core business.

"While we had a disappointing quarter financially, customer adoption of our recently introduced microprocessor and graphics products and platform offerings is strong, and we see increasing momentum across our businesses," claims Robert J. Rivet, AMD's chief financial officer.

Ruiz rollercoaster

Hector Ruiz's six years at the AMD helm were full of peaks and troughs.

Only two years ago, the company held a processor performance lead and was making serious inroads into Intel's market.

However, AMD failed to keep pace with Intel's Core technology, and it once again surrendered its performance crown at the dawn of the multicore era.

Those problems were exacerbated by the bungled launch of the Barcelona processors, which prompted Ruiz to make a frank public apology last December.

"I understand we made some commitments, especially on quad-core, we did not meet," Ruiz said. "Shame on us. We blew it, and we're very humbled by it, and we're going to learn from it, and we're not going to do that again."

Ruiz will remain with the company as executive chairman.

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