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October 29, 2009

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AMD starts review of 'inside-job' allegations

CHIP maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc is "thoroughly reviewing" published reports accusing former chairman and CEO Hector Ruiz as the company executive who gave confidential information to a defendant in the Galleon Group insider-trading case.

"We are not aware of any allegation of criminal misconduct on the part of any current or former AMD employees, nor have any current or former AMD employees been charged with a crime," AMD said in a statement late on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the California-based company declined to comment.

Citing an insider, The Wall Street Journal reported on its Website on Tuesday that Ruiz is the AMD executive described in the Manhattan United States Attorney's Office complaint as passing inside information to defendant Danielle Chiesi.

Chiesi, 43, was among six hedge-fund managers and corporate executives arrested this month in an insider-trading case that authorities say generated more than US$25 million in illegal profits.

Chiesi worked for New Castle, the equity hedge fund group of Bear Stearns Asset Management Inc that had assets worth about US$1 billion under management, according to court papers.

Raj Rajaratnam, the Galleon Group portfolio manager at the center of the case, last week said Galleon would wind down its funds after publicity surrounding the case led some investors to pull out money.

Before he left AMD's CEO job last year, Ruiz was only the second person to run the firm other than founder and longtime CEO Jerry Sanders and was one of the few Hispanic CEOs of a major US corporation.

Ruiz, 63, left amid investor frustration over AMD's finances. He was instrumental in orchestrating the spin-off of AMD's manufacturing operations into the company GlobalFoundries Inc, of which he is now chairman.

A GlobalFoundries spokesman on Tuesday would only say the allegations predate the company's launch.

AMD, which had US$5.8 billion in revenue last year, is the world's No. 2 maker of microprocessors.



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