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Tech execs step down after insider trading claims

Warwick Ashford

Two top executives have stepped down after being implicated in an insider-trading scandal involving at least six technology companies including IBM, AMD, Intel, Google and Sun Microsystems.

Hector Ruiz, chairman of AMD spin-off Globalfoundaries and Robert Moffat, senior vice-president of IBM's $19bn Systems and Technology group, have both left their posts after being charged in the insider trading case related to the privately owned hedge fund sponsor, Galleon Management.

Despite stepping down, Hector Ruiz and Robert Moffat have denied the allegations, along with four others charged in the case. These include Galleon founder and hedge fund operator Raj Rajaratnam.

All six have been implicated in trading on non-public information about the technology companies involved in the case.

Ruiz, the former chief executive of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), is taking an immediate voluntary leave of absence, according to a company statement. Moffat has formally retired, according to reports.

Both Ruiz and Moffat have been linked with hedge fund analyst, Danielle Chiesi, who allegedly received the inside information. However, neither has been charged with profiting directly, according to the Financial Times.

AMD said in a statement that Ruiz had already been planning to leave the company. AMD said Ruiz had submitted his resignation in September, with an effective date of 4 January.

IBM has moved quickly to replace Moffat, a 31-year IBM veteran and one of the most trusted lieutenants of IBM chief executive Sam Palmisano.

Moffat has been charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted. He also faces fines of up to $250,000.


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