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Two Top AMD Execs Resign

The company replaced two top VPs and formed a central engineering unit as part of an ongoing reorganization.
Advanced Micro Devices, which is trying to reverse more than a year of losses in competing against Intel, said two top executives have left the struggling chipmaker, including the head of its slumping microprocessor business.

AMD on Monday said Mario Rivas, executive VP of the company's Computing Solutions Group, and Michel Cadieux, senior VP and chief talent officer, left AMD to "pursue new opportunities." No other details were given.

Rivas has been replaced with senior VP Randy Allen, a 24-year AMD veteran who will be responsible for the development and management of the company's portfolio of consumer and commercial microprocessors. Allen, who will report directly to president and chief operating officer Dirk Meyer, had been responsible for AMD's server and workstation processors and had overseen chip engineering.

As part of an ongoing reorganization to regain profitability, the company formed a central engineering unit and said it would be co-led by Chekib Akrout, who is joining AMD after serving as VP of design technology at Freescale Semiconductor. Sharing responsibilities with Akrout will be Jeff VerHeul, corporate VP of design engineering at AMD. The executives will report directly to Meyer.

Finally, AMD said it would replace Cadieux with Allen Sockwell, who has been promoted to senior VP of human resources and chief talent officer.

The latest management reshuffling followed by about a month the resignation of senior VP and CTO Phil Hester. Before Hester, AMD had lost two other senior executives. Henri Richard, chief of sales and marketing, left in September, and David Orton, head of the graphics unit, left in July.

Since the last three months of 2006, AMD has reported more than $4 billion in losses. The company's stock has fallen from more than $40 in 2006 to about $7 today. The company last month said it would reduce its worldwide workforce of 16,800 employees by about 10% as part of a number of cost-cutting measures.

AMD has struggled to regain the market share it lost to Intel over the last year. AMD grabbed share from its larger rival between 2003 and 2006 following the release of its Opteron server processor that caught Intel off guard. Intel has come back, however, delivering on an aggressive product road map.

Despite the huge losses, AMD executives have said they expect to break even by the end of the year through the introduction of new products and by reducing operating expenses.

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