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AMD's Dave Orton, former ATI CEO, resigns

The former head of ATI Technologies, acquired by AMD last year, resigns amid troubled times for the chipmaker.

Dave Orton came over to Advanced Micro Devices when it acquired ATI Technologies last year, but his tenure at the company will have been brief.

AMD announced Tuesday that Orton, the former CEO of ATI and an executive vice president at AMD, is stepping down at the end of this month. Orton will not be replaced; instead, the heads of AMD's graphics and consumer electronics businesses will report directly to Dirk Meyer, AMD's president, and Hector Ruiz, AMD's CEO.

Dave Orton, the former head of ATI Technologies, is stepping down from his post at AMD. Advanced Micro Devices

ATI was a struggling business when AMD snapped it up last year for $5.4 billion, but the companies didn't merge for short-term gain. Rather, AMD wanted ATI's chipset business to compete with Intel's ability to offer PC makers a package of processors, chipsets and other hardware. And it also wanted the graphics business as part of an ambitious project called Fusion to integrate a CPU and a GPU onto a single chip, which the company thinks will deliver much better graphics performance by the end of the decade.

But AMD has been forced to deal with near-term realities this year, as the cash cow that was funding development of the Fusion project has dried up. The average selling prices of AMD's server chips--as well as company profits--have taken a severe hit this year as it attempts to compete against Intel's quad-core server chips with dual-core models. Barcelona, AMD's initial quad-core server chip, is right around the corner but could arrive just as Intel is ready to introduce a more powerful second-generation quad-core chip.