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AMD ousts Ruiz as chief executive

Larger-than-expected quarterly loss forces chief executive Hector Ruiz to step aside, though he will continue as chairman, for now.

Hector Ruiz, outgoing chief executive of AMD

Chip maker AMD has replaced Hector Ruiz as chief executive after posting a second-quarter net loss of $1.19 billion (600 million).

Ruiz, who has been chief executive of the company since 2001, will be replaced as chief executive by AMD's chief operating officer Dirk Meyer, a man seen by many as the natural successor to Ruiz at the company.

"He's watched me do all the screw ups that I did and understands much better the things that we need to do better, which an outside candidate cannot," Ruiz said in a telephone interview.

Ruiz was also appointed chairman in 2004 and will continue in that role, at least for the time being, having presided over seven consecutive quarters of losses at the firm.

"I think they probably are making the switch because they're seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. I think they've identified this as the trough," said American Technology Research analyst Doug Freedman.

The mounting losses at the California-based chip maker come at a time when desktop PC sales are declining and Intel is winning the battle for laptop processors and chipsets. The second quarter was double its net loss of $600 million for the same quarter last year.

Today's losses also include a write-down on its acquisition of graphics chip maker ATI.

Revenue rose to $1.35 billion (675 million) from $1.31 billion (650.5 million) a year ago, though this was still down seven per cent from the first quarter of this year.

"While we had a disappointing quarter financially, customer adoption of our recently introduced processor and graphics products and platform offerings is strong, and we see increasing momentum across our businesses," said Robert Rivet, AMD's chief financial officer.

AMD's results come just days after Intel posted a 25 per cent rise in net profit off the back of growth in laptop component sales.

(Additional reporting from Reuters)

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