Monday, May 27, 2024

Did Intel CEO Fail to Save E-Mails in AMD Case?

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AMD charged that Intel CEO Paul Otellini and other top execs did not proactively retain e-mail records as part of a compliance agreement in AMD’s antitrust lawsuit against the chip giant. However it’s not clear whether any of the missing documents are irretrievably lost.

While Intel (Quote) had already admitted earlier this month to numerous glitches in its document-retention efforts, more details emerged last week during a status conference on the case held in U.S. District Court of Delaware.

In a transcript provided by AMD (Quote) of the discussion before a court-appointed special master, Otellini is identified as one of several Intel execs who did not retain e-mails because they thought the IT department was automatically backing them up. Intel has a policy of regularly deleting e-mails, though the time period varies from every 35 days or longer depending on the employee. But in light of AMD’s suit, Intel had agreed to retain the communications of over a 1,000 employees that could be relevant to the case.

Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy would not comment on the specifics of what e-mail documents might be missing. “The purpose of the conference was to set a schedule and create a process where we could report to the special master and to AMD the size of the problem and a remedial plan to recover missing documents if there are any missing.”

Mulloy told that after AMD filed its suit back in 2005, Intel took a “snapshot of its entire network.”

“We’re not ready to say at this point definitively that anything is missing, but there was enough evidence that there might be some issues so we volunteered that information proactively.”

Mulloy said the documents in question relate only to the timeframe after AMD brought its suit.

AMD could not be reached for comment. Sunday the company e-mailed the 57-page transcript of the court conference with a note highlighting discussion of the missing documents as it related to Intel executives and other personnel.

At one point an AMD lawyer states: “…it’s Barrett, who is chairman, Otellini who is CEO, and a number of their direct reports, who are already identified as non-compliant, including Sean Maloney, who is worldwide head of sales and marketing, and a number of other very critical guys ….these are the folks that, even if there’s only a two-, three-, four-month gap, they’re the major players who are communicating with the heads of other companies.”

Last week, AMD’s legal counsel said in a statement: “Intel executives at the highest level failed to receive or to heed instructions essential for the preservation of their records, and Intel counsel failed to institute and police a reliable backup system as a failsafe against human error.”

Mulloy said any lapses are small in comparison to what it has already delivered and plans to. “We’ve delivered 17 million pages of documents to date and it will be up to 30 million in the next two months and more after that.”

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