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May 10, 2004

AMD Executives Discuss Leadership as Service

Hector Ruiz, AMD.Hector Ruiz, chairman, president and CEO of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), visited campus in March and delivered a distinguished lecture at the University of Illinois Research Park in the EnterpriseWorks facility. Dean Avijit Ghosh of the College of Business and the Illinois MBA Program were hosts of the presentation. The lecture is online.

Dr. Ruiz spoke to students, faculty, and staff on Management and Corporate Governance as part of his three-day visit to the Colleges of Business and Engineering. Ruiz was accompanied by Jerry Sanders, founder and chairman emeritus of AMD, Dirk Meyer, senior VP of the computation products group, Tom McCoy, chief administrative officer, and Rob Herb, executive VP and chief sales and marketing officer (retired). Sanders, Meyer, and Herb are all graduates of the U of I College of Engineering.

In their talk to the Illinois MBAs, Tom McCoy and Hector Ruiz both emphasized leadership as a service occupation. "I do everything I can to orchestrate the resources of our company to create value for the shareholders, while simultaneously striving to make the world a better place," said Ruiz. Although some may feel that these two roles are seemingly incompatible, Ruiz stressed the criticality of a symbiotic relationship between the two.

He also noted the tremendous impact of the information technology industry as a whole in the facilitation of major accomplishments in the fields of medicine, manufacturing, and agriculture and cited the decoding of the human genome as the new millennium's most spectacular achievement. Yet, he said, despite all the tremendous strides made, over 5 billion people are still not connected to the Internet and do not have access to this seemingly limitless knowledge base of information. For that reason, AMD is striving to connect those with out access by developing low-cost, user-friendly technology. This is another positive way Advanced Micro Devices continues to impact the technology industry and the world. Tom McCoy, AMD.

Tom McCoy echoed many of the CEO's comments throughout his talk. Having weathered many a corporate crisis during his days as a practicing attorney, McCoy firmly believes that leaders must be "lighthouses of values." He emphasized that today's students will be tomorrow's leaders, and must be able to manage change effectively and provide value-oriented vision and direction. "Your leadership brand is the sum of your decisions." noted McCoy. "Credibility is everything and you must stand for something to be an effective and respected leader."

AMD, based in Sunnyvale, CA, is a global supplier of integrated circuits for the computing, communications, and consumer electronics markets. AMD produces microprocessors, Flash memory devices, and silicon solutions for communications and networking applications. The company's service philosophy is called "customer-centric innovation" that seeks to provide "real solutions for real customer problems that exist in the real world today."

-- Kristine Carraway Smith


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