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Ex-AMD exec Hector Ruiz joins board of Austin nonprofit

Hector Ruiz now sits on the board of local nonprofit Breakthrough Austin.

After more than two years out of the high-tech spotlight, former Advanced Micro Devices Inc. executive Hector Ruiz is in the news again.

Ruiz has joined the board of directors of Breakthrough Austin, a nonprofit that aims to cultivate first-generation college graduates. Ruiz is a first-generation college graduate who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas.

A news release from Breakthrough Austin called Ruiz a “luminary in the field of technology.”

“Thanks to my own mentors, who believed in me and the power of education, and who challenged me, I was able to expand my horizons – from wanting to become an auto mechanic to actually leading a Fortune 500 company,” Ruiz said in the news release. “I want to impart the same lessons to these young students that others shared with me. Education is the key that opens the door to opportunity.”

In 2009, Ruiz resigned as chairman of AMD spinoff GlobalFoundries Inc. shortly after media reports identified him as the source of AMD secrets that were shared with a defendant in the Galleon Group insider-trading case. Ruiz was not charged in the case.

Ruiz became president and chief operating officer of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based chipmaker AMD in 2000. He was named CEO in 2002 and chairman two years later. Ruiz was ousted as CEO in 2008 following nearly two years of financial losses. He remained AMD’s chairman until early 2009.

Milpitas, Calif.-based GlobalFoundries launched in March 2009, with Ruiz as chairman. He turned in his resignation as chairman in November 2009 after revelations surfaced about the insider-trading scandal.

In 2011, Ruiz co-founded Bull Ventures LLC with former AMD executive Bharath Rangarajan. Ruiz is CEO, and Rangarajan is managing partner. The San Francisco-based consulting firm advises individuals, businesses and government agencies on technology initiatives. Bull Ventures says it “helps companies grow from good to great.”


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