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Former Microsoft exec barred from taking job at Salesforce

US judge rules in favour of Redmond on non-compete contract

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Microsoft ex-worldwide government general manager Matt Miszewski has been told by a US judge that he can't take a similar job with cloud computing rival Salesforce.com.

Judge Kimberly Prochnau ruled in Washington's King County Superior Court yesterday that Miszewski, who only joined Salesforce in January this year, was in "direct violation of his non-compete agreement" with Microsoft and said that the defendant's geographical argument against the lawsuit didn't stand up.

"While the US was not his primary responsibility, he certainly did have responsibility for strategy with regard to marketing to US customers," the judge said. "Salesforce is very clearly a competitor of Microsoft in terms of cloud-based computing, the next big thing," reports TechFlash.

In other words, the exec has been specifically barred from working at Salesforce in the role of senior vice president of global public sector biz at Marc Benioff's California-based firm.

Interestingly, non-compete contracts have been regularly laughed out of courts in California. But the same agreements have fared much better in Washington courts.

Microsoft argued in court that Miszewski's new job was in direct competition with his previous role at Redmond.

The company's lawyer Kevin Hamilton said that Microsoft and Salesforce were "engaged in hot competition over an emerging market that’s immensely valuable to both companies".

That emerging market is of course cloud computing and CRM software.

Miszewski, for his part, has already updated his LinkedIn account to make it clear that his extremely short-lived tenure at Salesforce is over - for now.

He's currently busy fixing Web2.0 government potholes, which is probably a metaphor for something, but we'll leave El Reg readers to fill in the blanks. ®

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