Hector Ruiz's days as CEO of AMD may be numbered, according to a report on financial website TheStreet.com. The report cites only an anonymous source, but it asserts that talk of a management change is "in the air" at AMD. Such a change would follow the departures of former ATI CEO Dave Orton in July and of former AMD Executive VP and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Henri Richard in August.
Signs reportedly point to current AMD President and COO Dirk Meyer taking over after Ruiz, a move that has been planned for some time, according to a person "knowledgeable about the situation" quoted by TheStreet. The source says Meyer "has always been slotted for being the new CEO . . . since his nomination as president and COO." Meyer joined AMD in 1995—five years before Ruiz—and was director of engineering on the original Athlon processor. Before his time at AMD, Meyer spent almost ten years working for DEC, where he co-architected two Alpha processors. Meyer became AMD President and COO in April 2005 and was appointed to AMD's board earlier this month.
TheStreet.com says there have so far been no public calls from major shareholders to oust Ruiz. If Meyer is to take over, the change will likely occur when Ruiz's latest yearly contract expires on April 26, 2008. (Ruiz originally had a five-year contract with AMD, but his contracts are now on a year-to-year basis.)
That said, TheStreet's source believes Ruiz may be unwilling to go out without a fight. "Hector is a guy that loves to fight. He's not going to retire on a downturn." Ruiz's prospects are likely to hinge on an analyst presentation next month, in which he is expected to reveal his plan to turn AMD around after several quarters of heavy financial losses.
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