Former Head of AMD Sheds Light on Fight with Intel in New Book

Paul Lilly

From anti-competitive lawsuits to the Globalfoundries deal, Hector Ruiz tells all in his book.

Hector Ruiz served as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) from 2002 until the summer of 2008, resigning from his position after AMD reported its seventh consecutive quarterly loss. He oversaw the company's acquisition of ATI, as well as several other major events, like the $1.25 billion settlement with Intel and the spinoff of AMD's manufacturing arm, without which Ruiz claims the company wouldn't have survived, just one of many tidbits revealed in his new book "Slingshot: AMD's Fight To Free An Industry From The Ruthless Grip Of Intel."

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal , the book is around 200 pages long and heavily laden with the David versus Goliath theme. A good portion of the book details why Ruiz risked attacking Intel in court as part of an effort internally called Project Slingshot. Part of the reasoning is because AMD had a strong processor lineup, but was unable to wrestle away market share from Intel. Ruiz cites examples of PC makers showing excitement for AMD's chips, but then backing away from what he says were financial threats from Intel.

"Although I never expected the lawsuit to go to trial, I harbored hopes that Intel would admit wrong-doing," Ruiz writes in his book. "I also believed AMD merited damages well beyond the $1.25 billion [settlement]."

Ruiz also talked about the decision to spinoff its manufacturing division into what is now known as Globalfoundries.

"If the Abu Dhabi deal were to fall through, AMD would not survive," Ruiz claims. "I had to do everything in my control to make it happen."

The deal was important for AMD because it relieved the pressure of funding factory operations, something AMD could no longer afford at the time.

Slingshot will be available to purchase starting April 23.

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