back to article Steve Jobs poaches IBM chip and blade geek

Mark Papermaster, one of the top Power chip gurus at IBM and its current vice president in charge of its blade server development unit, wants to take a job at Apple as a technology adviser to Steve Jobs, the company's chief executive officer. After 26 years at Big Blue, you can probably imagine that a change would feel good. …

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Black Helicopters

oooh! Tough call.

California is a right to work state.

If his contract is like the contract I had to sign, then there's usually two sections regarding a non-compete clause.

One is overly broad and not worth the paper its printed on. (It usually restricts an employee from joining a customer of IBM or a company that has an existing relationship with IBM.)

The second is used to specifically identify a competitor. Like Oracle or Microsoft. This clause is a bit more enforceable, at least in most parts of the US.

From memory, in California, if the person works for a competitor but isn't working in the same area or on the same technology, they should be ok. At least that's how it worked out for some guys who worked for a couple of hard disk manufacturers ...

As to poaching a PowerPC guy... If I were Apple, I'd look more at the Cell chips and technology than PowerPC. ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Orly??

"Apple intends to expand its presence in the server business" based on these actions." Shock and horror that IBM might have to face another competitor in the higher end server arena /smirk.

Of course as the article mentions Apple has consistently refused to spend as much time/energy/marketing money on it's server and business unit as it does in other areas. There is also the fact that if they wanted to compete in that space then they really don't really NEED Papermaster as such. They already have tremendous knowledge and insights when it comes to PPC architecture and building server kit which is stable, reliable, and if properly outfitted could be on par with big blue's blades. However Papermaster would be highly valuable to them in other areas regarding larger iron. Valuable enough that I think the most telling aspect of this story will be Apples reaction.

All that aside though this all smacks of sour grapes on IBMs part. Mixed with a touch of "we don't want them playing in our sandbox" mentality. So far as the non compete agreement goes, they are notoriously hard to get a clean judgment on though I have no doubt that IBMs head legal shark can do it if anyone can.

In the end what does it all say about potential ramping up of Apples enterprise gear? Possibly nothing as I mentioned above. But looking into the sky and saying what if. Well if I were Jobs and looking to wet my feet further in the enterprise market this is one person that I'd love to have on board.

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Tom

Why doesn't IBM just hire a contractor?

They fire their FT workers and replace them with contractors, just replace this guy the same way.

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Jobs Halo

Snow Leopard

Prediction for '09: Snow Leopard is Apple's Exchange killer.

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Silver badge
Jobs Horns

IBM's in the right

Not sure if the PowerPC stuff is relevant. He's left the building from a senior position with lots of detailed knowledge. A one-year restriction is actually very lenient for that kind of position. Wonder what Apple would do if the situation was reversed? Jobs would be crying Ives' beautifully crafted tears, no doubt.

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xjy
Paris Hilton

Profits versus Progress

Title says it all.

(Paris cos she shows it all - a picture is worth a thousand words :-)

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Silver badge

Lawyers? ... An Honourable Profession?

IBM = Slave Driver?!. Just Imagine a Business Entity trying to compete against a Man's, Free Will and Choice to Protect its Bottom $Line. That is just so, out of this world, the-machines-have-taken-over, to be accepted ...even by some slick bozo in a sharp zoot suit or IBM lawyer. But hey, they also have the free choice to tackle the impossible and back a heavy loser. After all, IBM is Paying Dearly for the Charade/Brainless Parade and not some Competent Law Team.

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Stop

EU Law

If this was in the EU, the Bosman Ruling would apply. Perhaps he should work for Apple UK and then do discrete assignments for the parent ?

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Flame

Hardly surprising

IBM takes trade secrets and all IP very seriously. You can't sneeze in the direction of IP without first clearing it with a lawyer.

The worst thing about these non-compete clauses though, is that IBM has it's fingers in so many different parts of the industry, that it's nearly impossible to leave and not move to a company that competes in some way with IBM. Even more so for the execs.

IMHO these non-compete clauses should be outlawed

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