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The former chief executive of ATI Technologies, which is now a part of Advanced Micro Devices, on Tuesday resigned from the world’s second largest maker of x86 microprocessors. The reasons for the decision are not exactly clear, as Mr. Orton has been widely considered as the father of “new ATI” as well as one of the masterminds behind the “new AMD”.

“It is with mixed feelings that I am leaving AMD. I am very optimistic about AMD’s future. I believe strongly in the strategies that brought AMD and ATI together and the talented employees of the ‘new AMD’ who are committed to winning in the market by delivering the best possible solutions for customers,” said Mr. Orton.

David Orton is among numerous of ex-ATI executives as well as specialists, who have left Advanced Micro Devices in the last year. Rich Heye, a vice president of ATI, left AMD late last year, whereas Peter Edinger, another vice president of ATI, departed from AMD early this year. In addition, a number of public relations persons have left AMD since the two companies became one.

Even though the latest graphics card series – ATI Radeon HD 2000 – from ATI/AMD was late to market and could not capture the performance crown, it can hardly be associated with management leaded by Dave Orton, as the merge between AMD and ATI obviously took its toll. Besides, AMD’s own processor business is not proceeding really well as the company failed to deliver its microprocessors based on the new micro-architecture on time and will also delay high-speed versions of the new chips by Q4 2007.

Dave Orton has been associated with successes of ATI Technologies in 2002, 2003 and 2004, when the company managed to capture the indisputable leaderships among the graphics products developers with the Radeon 9000- and Radeon X800-series graphics processing units. The departure of Mr. Orton may be considered negatively, as AMD virtually loses another graphics business professional, which means that the company will have less force to compete against Intel Corp. and Nvidia Corp.

Adrian Hartog, senior vice president and general manager, consumer electronics group and Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, graphics products group will now report into the Office of Hector Ruiz, the chief executive of AMD. The addition of the Consumer Electronics and Graphics businesses as direct reports into the Office of the CEO helps ensure the ongoing strategic attention and focus for these important businesses, the chipmaker said in a statement.

“Dave’s passion and relentless drive catapulted ATI into a solid leadership position in each of the company’s graphics, chipset and consumer electronics businesses,” said Dirk Meyer, AMD president and chief operating officer. “More recently, Dave was one of the key drivers in the successful integration of AMD and ATI. With his integration work complete and the successful launch of key graphics and chipset products earlier this year, the time was right for Dave to take his personal and professional life in a different direction.”

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