Former AMD chiefs link with Galleon raises questions about biz practices

Written by Reuters | Los Angeles, San Francisco | Updated: Oct 29 2009, 05:37am hrs
The linking of Advanced Micro Devices former top executive to the largest US insider trading scheme in decades may raise questions about its business practicesand that of the chipmaking venture, Globalfoundries, that it spun off.

AMD and Globalfoundrieslaunched in 2008 and considered an unlikely contender to heavyweight rivals TSMC and UMC of Taiwancan ill afford a major legal and corporate distraction as the contract chipmaker tries to secure a foothold in a fiercely competitive sector. Shares in AMD, which owns a large but minority stake in the venture with Abu Dhabi investors, slid 1.9% in slow after-hours trade after the Wall Street Journal reported Hector Ruiz had passed on confidential information regarding the spinoff to a hedge fund manager when he was AMDs CEO.

Ruiz is now chairman of Globalfoundries. The 63-year-old Mexico-born tech veteransometimes called Uncle Hector in Internet chatrooms but criticised for allowing AMD to hemorrhage market share to Intelbecame the biggest name to be linked to the widening scandal orbiting Galleon, which has traumatised Wall Street.