* Chairman Hector Ruiz to take leave immediately
* Will resign on January 4, 2010
* Alan “Lanny” Ross named interim chairman
(Adds background, stock activity)
By Ian Sherr
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Former Advanced Micro Devices Inc AMD.N Chief Executive Hector Ruiz will step down as chairman of contract chip maker Globalfoundries, following reports linking him to the largest hedge fund insider trading scheme.
Media reports have said Ruiz passed on confidential information regarding AMD’s spinoff of Globalfoundries to a hedge fund manager when he was AMD’s CEO. [ID:nN28312250]
The accusation is linked to hedge fund Galleon, which is at the center of a federal investigation rocking Silicon Valley and shaking up Wall Street, with accusations leveled at employees of Intel Corp (INTC.O), McKinsey & Co and Akamai Technologies Inc (AKAM.O).
Ruiz has not so far been charged, nor has he been named by federal investigators working on the case.
Globalfoundries said on Monday that Ruiz would immediately take a voluntary leave of absence and resign from the company, effective Jan. 4.
The statement came as both Globalfoundries and AMD declined to comment numerous requests regarding Ruiz’s future on the board.
Globalfoundries said Ruiz submitted his resignation in September, but a spokesman declined to say why the company had held off on disclosing his departure until Monday. He also declined to say why Ruiz was leaving.
Although Ruiz, 64, is embroiled in scandal, some analysts said they saw no connection to his departure.
“He’s reaching retirement age,” said FTN Equity Capital Markets analyst Joanne Feeney, who added that, while Ruiz played a role in the deal spinning off chipmaker Globalfoundries from chip-designer AMD, he has been mostly hands-off since then.
“In my opinion, it doesn’t affect the company in any way,” said Feeney, who has a buy rating on the stock.
Alan “Lanny” Ross, former CEO of chip designer Broadcom Corp BRCM.O, will serve on an interim basis until a permanent chairman has been appointed.
Ross is a chip industry veteran credited with turning around Broadcom after he was hired to replace founding CEO Henry Nicholas who was forced out of the company in 2003 in the midst of a corporate scandal.
The shares of AMD, which owns a large but minority stake in the Globalfoundries venture with Abu Dhabi investors Advanced Technology Investment Corp, closed flat for the day at $4.60 on the New York Stock Exchange. (Additional reporting by Franklin Paul in New York and Jim Finkle in Boston; editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Andre Grenon)