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By | Austin Modine 11th July 2007 00:41

Former ATI chief quits AMD

Leaves a mixed bag of chips

David Orton, former president and CEO at ATI Technologies, has resigned as executive vice president of AMD.

Orton, who led ATI's merger with AMD last year, said he will leave the company at the end of the month.

"With his integration work complete and the successful launch of key graphics and chipset products earlier this year," AMD CEO Dirk Meyer said in a statement, "the time was right for Dave to take his personal and professional life in a different direction."

While Orton didn't provide details on his resignation, he said he had "mixed feelings" about leaving AMD, but is still "very optimistic" about the company's future.

Recently, AMD has struggled in a price war to recapture momentum in the graphic chip market lost to juggernaut rival Intel. The company reported a first quarter loss of $611m in 2007 compared with a Q1 '06 profit of $185m.

Part of AMD's long-term strategy with the purchase of ATI is the future release of hybrid processors that combine x86 and graphics cores into a hybrid chip code-named Fusion. The chip is expected to be on the market in 2009.

Previously, AMD has been adamant about keeping Orton and the ATI heads on board. In October, AMD offered Orton $1.7m in salary and bonuses to keep him in the company.

Now facing the loss of Orton, AMD doesn't appear to be shifting its strategy. Instead of replacing Orton, the company is bumping his subordinates up the executive ladder. Adrian Hartog, senior VP of the consumer electronics group and Rick Bergman, senior VP of the graphics products group, will now report directly to the office of CEO Hector Ruiz. ®

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