The change was approved at the company's annual stockholders meeting on Thursday. Sanders will now serve as a director and chairman emeritus on the board. The changeover process had begun in 2000, when Ruiz, former president of Motorola's semiconductor products sector, was named president and chief operating officer. Hefrom Sanders in 2002.
"On behalf of the board, we would like to express our thanks to Jerry for his leadership in managing the company from its inception through the transition to Hector as CEO and today, chairman of AMD," Robert Palmer, lead independent director, said in a statement.
The chipmaker also elected H. Paulett Eberhart as director in place of Dr. Friedrich Baur, who did not seek re-election. She is the former president for the Americas at Electronic Data Systems.
Sanders enjoys a mythological status of sorts in the world of tech execs. An oft-repeated tale speaks of him rising from the dead--as a youth in Chicago, he was so bloodied in a street fight that he received last rites, only to recover. He once conducted a quarterly financial conference call from a Paris hotel room while on vacation, and a marble bust of him presides over the lobby of AMD's Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters.