Former exec accuses AMD of anti-Arab discrimination

The Associated Press
Saturday April 20, 2002

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — A former senior vice president for Advanced Micro Devices Inc. claims in a lawsuit that the computer chip maker’s top two officials humiliated him and forced him out because he is an Arab-American. 

Walid Maghribi’s lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in San Jose claims the discrimination started after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. 

Maghribi said AMD’s president, Hector Ruiz, and its founder and chief executive, Jerry Sanders, made ethnic slurs and gave him demeaning tasks that led him to quit his job on March 1 after 16 years with the company. Ruiz is set to succeed Sanders as CEO this year. 

AMD spokesman John Greenagel called the lawsuit “utterly without merit” and said the Sunnyvale-based company would fight it. 

Maghribi made more than $1.5 million in salary and bonuses with AMD last year, according to records filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

He contends Sanders began to treat him poorly after learning that Maghribi, who was born in Lebanon, is an Arab and a Muslim, and said the CEO withdrew his support for a business deal Maghribi was overseeing.