Apple’s new iPhone chief Mark Papermaster claims he didn’t violate IBM contract

“Apple’s newly appointed chief of iPod and iPhone engineering said his move to Cupertino does not violate a noncompete contract he signed with former employer IBM because Apple and IBM are not competitors,” Paul McDougall reports for InformationWeek.

“‘To the best of my knowledge, IBM does not design, manufacture or market consumer electronic products,’ said Mark Papermaster, in a court document filed Thursday. ‘Instead, IBM focuses on high-performance business systems such as information technology infrastructure, servers and information storage products, and operating systems software,’ Papermaster noted,” McDougall reports. “‘Apple, on the other hand, is in the business of designing, manufacturing and marketing consumer-oriented hardware and related products,’ said Papermaster, in documents filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.”

“‘I do not recall a single instance of Apple being described as a competitor of IBM during my entire tenure at IBM,’ Papermaster stated. The executive claims that he was not actively looking to leave IBM until he was headhunted by Steve Jobs’ company and offered ‘a once in a lifetime opportunity,'” McDougall reports.

“Papermaster was part of IBM’s elite Integration & Values team until last month, and is a top expert in IBM’s Power microprocessor architecture. Big Blue claims Papermaster signed a noncompete contract that forbids him from joining a rival tech vendor within a year of ceasing employment at IBM,” McDougall reports. “IBM sued Papermaster last week. The company is asking the court to enjoin Papermaster from working at Apple.”

“In his response, Papermaster says his new job at Apple does not require him to work directly with P.A. Semi assets or technology,” McDougall reports.

“IBM said it offered Papermaster ‘a substantial increase’ in his compensation package to stay with the company,” McDougall reports. “The efforts were to no avail.”

Full article here.

Let’s see: head up the world’s next great platform or keep designing effing blade servers for IBM?

Not a tough choice.

This’ll all work out eventually.


  1. Big Bloo-hoo couldn’t compete with Apple for one employee’s loyalty —- so, they got mad and want to ruin his life. IBM didn’t pay him enough to be held as a slave when he wanted to jump ship. Non-compete contracts are always a one sided contract. Never, ever in the favor of the employee. Suck it up IBM.

  2. Apple: do well for us and you can retire and collect $300k/year for a couple of years doing whatever you want.

    IBM: if you try to leave you get 2 options – we’ll pay you for 1 year if you stay home and keep your mouth shut, or we’ll sue you.

    Guess what messages top talents are seeing from these companies? Think Jobs just showed the rest of the industry how to attract and reward people.

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