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Advanced Micro Devices Inc has lost top executive Vinod Dham, group vice president of its computation product group. Dham, one of the original designers of Intel Corp’s Pentium chip, came to AMD from Nexgen Inc, which AMD acquired a few years ago to help with its Pentium clone efforts. Vinod was a key member of the team working on the K6 Pentium compatible chip, which has seen poor output since its launch back in February (CI No 3,132). The company would say only that Dham left for personal reasons, but speculation is that he was forced out by chief executive Jerry Sanders as a result of the slower-than-expected K6 ramp that has crippled AMD’s financial results for the past two quarters. AMD told an analysts meeting last week that it would not reach its target of manufacturing two million K6s during the current fourth quarter. Some doomsayers expect continuing K6 output problems into next year, not to mention the problems of migration from the current 0.35 micron fab to a 0.25 micron. As a result, ratings on AMD’s stock have been cut by several investment banks since last week. The First Call consensus is currently a loss of $0.08 per share for Q4 and net earnings per share of $0.06 for Q1 1998.

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