Former Top Executive Files Against
By Mario Rodrigues
Date: April 22, 2002
the inquirer has reported
on a very disturbing
News story that if true will prove to be very damaging for AMD. Walid
Maghribi, former president of the memory group, filed suit last Thursday and is
claiming that AMD's Jerry Sanders and other leaders humiliated him and forced
him out after Sept 11 because he is an Arab-American. The suit also contends
that Hector Ruiz, incoming CEO, and others directed demeaning jokes about Arab
nationals to both Maghribi and his wife.
Few things in life surprise me, but this is a shocker. If any of this has any degree of truth, it will cause damage to AMD's hard-earned reputation, which will mean heads will have to roll.
Maghribi had been a long and faithful servant for the 16 years he worked for the company. In that time he was promoted five times and was instrumental in managing the cash cow that had brought in so much success and revenue for the company. Commenting on Maghribi's success after he had announced his decision to resign, AMD's Jerry Sanders said:
"Hector and I want to thank Walid Maghribi for his enormous contributions to AMD during his 16 years with the company," said W.J. Sanders, AMD chairman and chief executive officer. "Walid built AMD's flash memory business from the ground up to more than $1.5 billion in revenues last year. Walid put in place a very effective organization that we are confident will enable AMD to maintain its leadership in the fiercely competitive flash memory sector of the semiconductor industry."
My personal recollection of Maghribi is an impressive one. At last November's Analyst Conference, Maghribi gave what I thought was the most impressive presentation of them all, and fielded his questions with aplomb and authority. I thought to myself at the time, this is one executive that will be going places, AMD will need to make sure that they hang on to this superexec. I wouldn't want him working for Intel. When AMD announced that Maghribi would be leaving the company, I was shocked and very disappointed.
If AMD is really saying that none of this is true, then one has to ask why Maghribi, who has earned $6 million and could comfortably retire, would make such allegations. It doesn't make sense. Someone is lying, and is lying big time. If this proves to be AMD, then the chipmaker will be in very serious trouble. Intel's fiascoes, like the Pentium FDIV flaw, Caminogate, or even the PIII recall will look like small fry when compared to this. If it is proved that AMD has acted in a racist manner, consumers who have a conscious will buy Intel on principle, no matter what the extra amount. This could cost AMD serious market share in the retail space.
I hope for AMD's sake that these allegations are not true, and that my concerns on this matter have been totally misplaced.