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Cyrix folk walk out after Via revelation

Nine frontline mutineers say this is no bounty

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Updated Nine frontline staff at Cyrix's old HQ in Richardson, Texas, walked out yesterday just a day after the CEO of Via said wanted to spin off the CPU division of his company as a separate going concern. According to sources in Richardson, Steve McMahan, former director of engineering, and eight other key people left the firm yesterday to join startup Navarro Networks, run by a former Cyrix vice president called Mark Bluhm. The move, apparently, was unrelated to the announcement. Staff at Cyrix were dismayed last year after Via bought the firm, which formerly sheltered under the comparatively safe umbrella of National Semiconductor. However, Doug Phillips, product marketing manager of Via's CPU business, said this afternoon that the departures will make little difference to the company's roadmap or its plans. He said: "Obviously we'll miss their contributions. Maybe we'll replace these people, maybe not." He said that Via-Cyrix had "more than enough" people to replace the expertise that had walked out. Phillips admitted that it was unusual for a company as large as Via to see such a walkout, but maintained that the roadmap was still firmly in place, despite the departures. He said 50 people were now working at the Richardson HQ. The same sources told The Register that Via boss Wen Chi Chen has made a lightning trip to Richardson, and is at the former Cyrix HQ today, in a last minute bid to stem the flow of engineering staff. An insider said: "This was quite a surprise to the rest of us. It is also a big surprise to Wen Chi Chen, who is planning to be on site... to apply first aid. Too little, too late. It's over. AMD and Intel win, we lose." He is probably too late to staunch the flow, sources added. No one from Via was available for comment at press time. Other sources told The Register that key people that had departed included the head of circuit design, the head of process engineering, the head of physical layout, and the person in charge of silicon validation. Phillips was adamant that the resignations and departures made no difference to Via's long term aims. ® Related Story Via scotches AMD merger rumours

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