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AMD Sales Chief Richard Stepping Down

Updated from 7:55 p.m. EDT

SAN FRANCISCO -- Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) said its chief sales and marketing officer, Henri Richard, will leave the company in September.

"Richard departs AMD of his own accord and on completely amicable terms," the chipmaker said in press release late Wednesday.

AMD said its global sales and marketing organization will now report to the office of the CEO.

Shares of AMD were up 7 cents to $12.08 in extended trading Wednesday.

Richard's exit comes at a time when AMD is facing severe financial and technological challenges, and marks the second high-profile departure from AMD this summer. In July, former ATI TechCEO Dave Orton announced his resignation, nine months after the $5.4 billion cross-border acquisition that brought him and his Canadian graphics chip firm to AMD.

Richard has been with AMD for five years and is one of the company's most high-profile executives. The French sales and marketing chief, unlike his counterparts at other companies, was a regular fixture during quarterly earnings conference calls with analysts.

The departure is especially striking given that AMD is slated to release its long-awaited quad-core Barcelona chip next month. AMD claims Barcelona will bring a vast improvement in performance and power-efficiency, although rival Intel (INTC) has a slew of its own new chips on tap that could blunt its impact.

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