Must be nice to wanted -- at least Mark Papermaster must be feeling the -- um -- love from his former and current employers. A federal judge ordered the former IBM executive recently hired by Apple to stop working for that company. I guess the big question remains... WHY?
Last Friday, Judge Kenneth Karas ruled that Mr. Papermaster must "immediately cease his employment with Apple until further notice". Sheesh, the guy was only on the job as Apple's new VP of devices hardware engineering since last Tuesday.
A bit of background -- IBM sued Papermaster (I never tire of that guy's name) on October 22 2008, claiming that he had signed a non-competition agreement in 2006 that prevented him from working for competitors for one year after leaving IBM. So -- since when is Apple a big competitor of IBM's? Sure there is some overlap in the area of servers, PC, and microprocesses. But -- really? I can't wait to see the next generation of Mac commercials. Instead of John Hodgman as a PC, he will morph into a blade server or something. Given what these ads have done to Microsoft, if I were IBM, I would let this one go.
IBM did try to lure Mr. Papermaster back with a heck of deal: a substantial pay raise plus one year's salary if he would just "refrain from working for an IBM competitor for one year". Dude, you must really dislike your old boss to turn that one down.
Apple hired the new guy to run their iPod and iPhone engineering group. Apparently his IBM knowledge of confidential IBM trade secrets will cause IBM "irreparable harm" according the law suit. Off hand, I would say this law suit will cause the company more irreparable harm but what do I know? Maybe IBM is thinking of getting into the music device business -- certainly a bit late to come to that party. Maybe they are creating a mobile device with an earth-shaking interface, fun and innovative applications, remarkable capabilities... Nope too late for that one too.
So, as of Friday, his employment with Apple is on hold at least for a couple of weeks. The judge set up a conference for November 18 so that the two companies can discuss an expedited schedule for discovery and trial.
Stay tuned to find out if the master of engineering can bring that expertise to Apple or not.
Yours in BI success and good luck, Mr. Papermaster!
Posted November 10, 2008 3:26 PM
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