UPDATE 2-AMD CEO says no plans to step down in 2008

Tue Dec 11, 2007 4:29pm EST

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(Adds analyst comments, paragraphs 4-5)

By Duncan Martell

SAN FRANCISCO Dec 11 (Reuters) - Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD.N) Chief Executive Hector Ruiz says he has no plans to step down as head of the microprocessor maker next year.

AMD has in the past two years struggled with market share losses to its far larger rival, Intel Corp (INTC.O), in the market for microprocessors. It is banking much of its turnaround on its Barcelona processor, which was launched in September, but has so far been hampered by an inability to ship as many of the processors as it would like.

Ruiz said in an interview with CNBC Europe to be broadcast later this week that President and Chief Operating Officer Dirk Meyer is being groomed to succeed him as CEO.

"Ruiz has to turn the ship around before he can turn over the helm," said Ashok Kumar, an analyst at CRT Capital Group LLC. "He and his team need to focus on executing and delivering what customers and the markets expect."

Caris & Co. analyst Daniel Barenbaum wrote in a Monday note to clients that disappointing reviews of AMD'S desktop quad-core microprocessor and a lack of availability of its higher-speed Barcelona chip confirm that "AMD continues to struggle with new product cycles."

The interview is scheduled to be broadcast on Thursday at 2300 Central European Time (2200 GMT), the same day that AMD holds its financial analyst conference in New York, the network said.

An e-mail including excerpts of the interview was sent to Reuters on Tuesday and was confirmed as authentic by CNBC.

"We started doing this (the succession planning) four years ago and I'm delighted that Dirk is a strong player," Ruiz told CNBC. "When the time comes for me to hand the reins over to him, it's going to be fantastic."

Asked how soon that would be, Ruiz said, "I can't tell you that, but it's not any time soon."

Asked whether he would step down in 2008, Ruiz said: "Not next year."

Shares of AMD fell 11 cents to close at $9.07 and shares of Intel fell 85 cents to $26.93.

Both stocks gave up earlier gains after the Federal Reserve Bank cut short-term interest rates less than hoped for earlier on Tuesday to help the U.S. economy withstand tightened credit and a prolonged housing market slump.

Many on Wall Street had thought the Fed might cut the federal funds rate by 0.5 percentage point, rather than the 0.25 percentage point cut it made, to 4.25 percent. (Reporting by Duncan Martell; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Dave Zimmerman)

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