Key executive e-mail missing in Intel-AMD suit

Intel fails to preserve e-mail and documents from CEO, chairman and others, despite an antitrust suit against it.
Written by Dawn Kawamoto, Contributor
Despite an antitrust lawsuit against the company, Intel's CEO and chairman failed to preserve e-mail and documents, according to transcripts from a hearing in the suit brought by Advanced Micro Devices.

Paul Otellini, Intel's chief executive, Craig Barrett, chairman, and Sean Maloney, head of worldwide sales and marketing, failed to preserve their e-mail, despite an antitrust lawsuit filed in 2005 against the company by AMD, according to transcripts of a status hearing last week in a U.S. District Court in Delaware.

Intel's three heavy-hitters were among the names listed in a spreadsheet that the company provided to AMD, outlining employees who do not use backup tapes to preserve their documents and e-mail from Intel's automatic 35-day purging policy, said Drew Prairie, an AMD spokesman.

Otellini "is identified as an individual who was under the impression that IT was automatically backing up his e-mail and so he did not need to retain them, according to Intel," the transcripts stated.

Earlier this month, Intel acknowledged it failed to preserve some documents relating to AMD's antitrust lawsuit.

Intel declined to discuss the case as it related to any one individual, however, the chipmaker noted it is "working hard" to correct the situation with the missing e-mail and documents, said Chuck Mulloy, an Intel spokesman.

"It's a very complicated process," Mulloy said, "and we have a lot of work to do."

Intel identified 1,023 employees as "custodians," of which over 500 never saved their e-mail, according to the documents. Most of this group was never told to preserve their e-mail until the last couple of weeks, while a smaller segment of this group was supposed to have their e-mail migrated off a designated server in October to November 2005 and onto a weekly backup tape, a task which never occurred, according to the transcripts.

The remainder of the custodians, such as Otellini and other high-level executives, were under the impression that someone else at Intel was handling the retention of their data on their behalf.

"These are folks that, even if there's only a two-, three-, four-month gap, they're major players who are communicating with the heads of other companies, the transcript stated. "We don't necessarily need the compliance information for all 1,020-something. But for certain people...that are clearly executive VPs or higher who have compliance problems, I don't want to wait any longer than we need to on those particular people."

Intel is scheduled to file a report with the court on April 10, outlining how it plans to proceed in recovering the e-mail and documents.

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