IBM goes judicial over second strategic exec exit
Dell bracketed with Apple
IBM has apparently moved to block a second strategically important employee from joining a systems competitor.
The giant is reportedly suing to stop former mergers-and-acquisitions chief David Johnson from joining Dell, the world's joint second largest provider of PCs.
IBM claimed Johnson's new position at Dell violates an agreement restricting his employment with rivals. The company said Johnson was in possession of "valuable confidential information" that prevents him from undertaking a senior strategy position at Dell.
Dell dismissed "characterizations" of his role at the company as speculative, adding it respects the trade secrets and intellectual property of others." Johnson is a 27-year IBM veteran.
The suit follows an IBM action started in November 2008 against Mark Papermaster who'd joined Apple as head of iPod and iPhone engineering. Papermaster had served in a variety of roles at IBM during 25 years, and worked on IBM's BladeCenter server line and Power microprocessor architecture and technology. The suit was settled in January, with the companies agreeing Papermaster "shall not use or disclose any IBM confidential information." ®
<quote>The suit was settled in January, with the companies agreeing Papermaster "shall not use or disclose any IBM confidential information."</quote>
The key here isn't for IBM to win, but to slow down the hiring process.
The information these key executives have is time sensitive. If you can get them to delay their hiring by 6 months, then the effort was worth it.
Just FYI... in some of these contracts there are two or more clauses that restricts where you can go to work post IBM... One clause is overly restrictive and worthless. The second clause usually contains one or two companies and is probably enforceable.
As to the lawyers, they are in house counsel so their fees are paid whether they go to court, or sit around in the break room.
Watse of Court Time and Legal Fees
'....with the companies agreeing Papermaster "shall not use or disclose any IBM confidential information." ..'
Isn't that what Papermaster agreed to do anyway as part of his normal contract termination terms?