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AMD Q2 results not too bad but Atiq Raza leaves

Power struggle ends up with Sanders pyrrhic victor

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AMD has posted its biggest ever quarterly loss and at the same time was hit by the departure of one of its senior executives. Totally unexpectedly, Atiq Raza, who has masterminded the company's move to develop its x86 strategy, quit, for "personal reasons". That will be a big loss for AMD. Raza became the day-to-day manager of AMD only a few months back and was credited with instilling more discipline into the firm. He also inspired confidence, more significantly, with AMD's customers. The sudden departure of Raza has led to speculation that a bitter power struggle broke out between him and Sanders over the company's future. He had been seen as Sanders' heir apparent. Although W.J. Sanders III, the company's chairman, said a week or two back that AMD might deliver a $200 million loss for the quarter, the final net loss was only $162 million. That is the biggest quarterly loss AMD has ever made, however. Revenue for its Q2 was $595,109,000. Compared to the same quarter last year, sales rose by 13 per cent and last year's loss was $64,560,000. AMD's sale of subsidiary Vantis to Lattice helped bouy the figures. Sanders maintained the Athlon K7, was the key to growth in the future. Although AMD has other, profitable, business lines, these have been put in the shade by Sanders emphasis on its loss making X86 chip business. Some have suggested that for Sanders, the fight against Intel is personal. At one time, both he and Andy Grove, Intel's chairman, worked for Fairchild. It appears Sanders, a flamboyant salesman like figure, is betting the whole farm on the K7. ®

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