If Ruiz divulged confidential information about AMD to people who had no rights to the corporate secrets or who he should have suspected could benefit illegally from such disclosures, his association with the company and Globalfoundries should end immediately.
Ruiz's reputation was already tarnished by what many consider a less than stellar performance by AMD under his leadership and he is already paying a price for this. Few in the semiconductor industry would consider Ruiz's tenure at AMD an outstanding success. That much was clear by the time he left the position last year.
Under Ruiz, AMD's market value fell precipitously with its stock price sinking to a 52-week low $1.62 from more than $40 four years ago. The company last posted an annual profit in 2005 and has become less competitive in a technological and manufacturing process race with Intel Corp.
Its $5.6 billion cash and stock acquisition of graphics IC vendor ATI Technologies in 2006 was meant to shore up the company's competitive position but the expected benefits did not immediately materialize.
All the above may be true. However, it is also equally true Ruiz fought hard for AMD against Intel, an unrelenting foe whose overwhelming market share, technological resources and deep pockets made the battle unequal.
Ruiz didn't shirk away from taking on Intel even in the courts in the United States where a civil antitrust lawsuit filed against Intel in 2005 is scheduled to go to trial next March in Delaware, according to a spokesman for the company.
In Korea and Japan, regulators have issued findings against Intel for anti-trust practices. AMD, under Ruiz, has protested stridently to regulators in North America, Europe and Japan what it deemed anti-trust practices on the part of Intel.
In Japan, the company is "suing Intel to recover damages to our business," following a ruling against Intel by the Fair Trade Commission of Japan, according to the AMD spokesman.
While many asserted AMD should try and beat Intel in the marketplace, Ruiz while chairman and CEO contended the company could have beaten its microprocessor rival if the playing field had been level. Ruiz did not apologize for asking regulators to investigate Intel's practices to ensure AMD could compete effectively in the microprocessor market. Of course, he didn't quite succeed but nobody can fault him with not trying.
Unless further investigations confirm Ruiz violated the terms of his fiduciary duty to AMD, insinuating his actions were wrong if he spoke with any of the Galleon defendants or any other potential investors about the company would be terribly unfair to someone whose efforts were meant to steer his employer into calmer waters.
Ruiz himself can clear this up by answering three crucial questions: Did you or any other AMD exec discuss confidential AMD reorganization issues with any of the Galleon insider trading defendants; if yes, why did you speak with the Galleon defendants and were your intentions honorable, Mr. Ruiz?