“Electric-car battery maker A123 Systems has sued Apple Inc for poaching top engineers to build a large-scale battery division, according to a court filing that offered further evidence that the iPhone maker may be developing a car,” Deepa Seetharaman and Edwin Chan report for Reuters.
“Apple has been poaching engineers with deep expertise in car systems, including from Tesla Inc, and talking with industry experts and automakers with the ultimate aim of learning how to make its own electric car, an auto industry source said last week,” Seetharaman and Chan report. “Around June 2014, Apple began aggressively poaching A123 engineers tasked with leading some of the company’s most critical projects, the lawsuit said. The engineers jumped ship to pursue similar programs at Apple, in violation of their employment agreements, A123 said in a filing earlier this month in Massachusetts federal court.”
“‘Apple is currently developing a large-scale battery division to compete in the very same field as A123,’ the lawsuit read… The company also sued five former A123 employees, who could not be reached for comment,” Seetharaman and Chan report. “A123 Systems is a pioneering industrial lithium-ion battery maker, which was backed by a $249 million U.S. government grant. It filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and has been selling off assets.”
“In its complaint, A123 said it believed Apple was looking to hire other battery engineers from companies including LG Chem Ltd, Samsung SDI Co Ltd, Panasonic Corp, Toshiba Corp and Johnson Controls Inc,” Seetharaman and Chan report. “Apart from the five defendants, at least six other ex-A123 engineers had moved over to Apple, according to their LinkedIn profiles.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: If you cannot retain your employees, regardless of how many hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayers’ dollars you’ve flushed down the toilet, then you cannot retain your employees. Presumably, people would rather work for a thriving, solvent, wildly successful enterprise versus hoping and praying for continued paychecks from a failed, bankrupt flop now owned by a Chinese auto parts supplier (Wanxiang).
Apple poached workers for new battery division, A123 Systems lawsuit claims – February 18, 2015