The world's largest and most powerful private pension fund has called for chipmaker AMD's chief executive to be removed.
The statement came from the California Public Employees' Retirement System (Calpers) as an AMD shareholders' meeting looms on Thursday.
The pension fund has posted a letter to AMD shareholders on the Web, suggesting they vote CEO Jerry Sanders off the board and appoint a third party chairman. The pension fund has half a million shares in the Intel clonemaker and claims these shares have not performed as well as it expected.
According to the group, Sanders' position as chairman and CEO has had a bad effect on the company's business because of a lack of objectivity. It is calling for an independent to be appointed, claiming she or he would represent the interests of the shareholders better.
Rumours have circulated in recent weeks that Sanders is considering retirement anyway, along with a scheme to sell off the three main parts of AMD (see Newswire 23 April).
He is widely seen as the chief proponent of the AMD K6 Intel compatible processor - although a linchpin of the company's strategy, delays and process problems in the period after its launch hit the share price hard.
Last week, AMD successfully resolved a class action suit from shareholders, but the intervention of the pension fund could precipitate a new crisis.
Ironically, the high profile K6 business is less profitable than AMD's networking business. Today, the company will introduce a line of home networking products, intended to benefit consumers who want to link multiple PCs in the home (see separate story).
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