Part of a trend, makes us all look bad
I'd never do anything like this, simply because I'm a professional. I like working in this industry and wouldn't like the idea of basically being blackballed from it for a stupid move like this. But it's an interesting pointer to a trend I've seen -- employees being completely disconnected from their employers' business.
That's not a total shocker given how little loyalty has been shown on the other side of the table. It doesn't excuse stealing proprietary chip designs, but I can see why some individuals might take this approach (on a related note, check out the top 10 IT rogues' gallery for more examples.)
Losing your job is one thing -- stealing a chip design to impress a new employer is a totally different one. If I were AMD, and saw those documents, I would (1) physically get that guy far away from my facility, and (2) scrub my eyeballs and brain of any trace of what I just saw. There would be no way AMD could have used this data without throwing up a million red flags, and it serves as a pretty good gauge of how loyal this guy would be as an employee.
I honestly don't know which way IT should go. One way is for us to become 100% untrusted, hired-gun contractors who only do the job we are authorized to do, and get tossed as soon as we're not needed. To make that a reality, we'd all have to work off-premises or in a secured contractor bubble in the employers' facilities. This model works great for 20-somethings with no family and a one-bedroom apartment -- I've worked with lots of people who travel 300+ days a year, get paid 4x the salary of a regular employee, and actively love it. The only problem is that every one of the older ones I know is unmarried or divorced because there's no way to sustain a family with that kind of life. For those of us who aren't as enthusiastic about our multi-Platinum status on frequent flyer/frequent guest programs, I think a model with more stability could work. Roll back the clock to the 50s through the 70s, but keep current technology in place. Workers could get a job for life, pension, benefits, salary that keeps up with inflation, etc. In return, a company would get workers who were more invested in their employers. I think you'd still have some wrongdoing, but you'd see less incidents of people walking off with company secrets. That's just because people like me would figure, "Hey, this company is paying me well and doesn't treat me like crap...why steal from them?"