Illegal no-hire agreements were the norm at Apple, Google, others: emails leaked

Illegal no-hire agreements were the norm at Apple, Google, others: emails leaked
Finding the right employees may be hard. Keeping them, might be even harder. Especially when stakes become high and we start talking about senior engineers at companies like Apple, Google and Intel.

And even though it is prohibited by law to have no poaching agreements, it has long been known that such agreements not only exist, but are rigorously followed and any breach results into immediate investigations and harsh actions.

Now, The Verge has gotten hold of some extremely frank emails about no poaching agreements with Apple and Google heavily involved, and the juicy exchange is between no other but former Apple head Steve Jobs and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.

It all starts with an illegal but very real threat by Steve Jobs aimed at Palm chief executive Edward Colligan. Jobs has some solid reason suspecting former Apple employee Jon Rubinstein of actively curating the recruitment process. Here is what Jobs says about what the legal consequences could be:

“I’m sure you realize the asymmetry in the financial resources of our respective companies when you say: ‘We will both end up paying a lot of lawyers a lot of money.’”

Colligan on the other hand says he received a call from Jobs in 2007 with a proposition of a no-poaching agreement, and if not Palm was threatened with a patent lawsuit. Now, that’s harsh. When Colligan mentioned the obvious fact that a no-poaching agreement would be illegal the above quoted response arrived.

Jobs was obviously actively protecting its employees and had agreements with most big names in tech. It’s extremely interesting to see his exchange with Google’s Eric Schmidt and the urgency of Schmidt’s response. This verbal agreement was taken very seriously. Hit the source link below for the original story and right below you can find some of the most interesting email exchanges showing the inside story of tech hiring.

source: The Verge

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18 Comments

1. cezarepc

Posts: 718; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

Last one I can really believe is from Steve Jobs.

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 31042; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Google is guilty to. Don't try to deflect away from it by bashing apple

18. cezarepc

Posts: 718; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

Who's bashing apple?

13. Caralho

Posts: 119; Member since: Jun 18, 2012

Why is anyone surprised?? Just read the FBI file, the "icon" was, in reality, a megalomaniacal scumbag.

2. android_hitman unregistered

I hope someone will sue them and stop this nonsense

3. plgladio

Posts: 314; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Hmm so from all this one thing is true people from different firms move to Google. :)

4. someones4

Posts: 627; Member since: Sep 16, 2012

What's so surprising? the man is a well-known dictator. The major problem is that as everyone negotiates peacefully, he tries to bring lawyers into the game.

8. Aeires unregistered

This!

11. Muzhhur

Posts: 261; Member since: Sep 14, 2012

yep, and then the time comes whit a "may the battle begins"

5. groupsacc

Posts: 232; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

“I’m sure you realize the asymmetry in the financial resources of our respective companies when you say: ‘We will both end up paying a lot of lawyers a lot of money.’” Now I can see why they stashed all their cash and only paid 2 dividends to investors in 18 years. To take the upper hand when "negotiating" (threat) with other companies.

6. JC557

Posts: 1919; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Apple threatened Palm with a patent suit? The same palm that helped revolutionize the PDA and smartphone?

7. tedkord

Posts: 17357; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Asshats.

9. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

No wonder i always hated Apple ... and Jobs for his Hitler like attitude ... myway or highway

10. Muzhhur

Posts: 261; Member since: Sep 14, 2012

OMG all of them are natural born killers, but they used to work in bussines

14. Muzhhur

Posts: 261; Member since: Sep 14, 2012

Im just look the other side of the coin, its not just a nazi-like non hire agreement of Jobs, its also a robery of intelectual skills and buying knowledge of people that know how it works de IOS, to build yuour own android OS and thats its dirty.

15. CRICKETownz

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 24, 2009

well, well, well...look what we have here. behind the veil of the customization and offering all of latest specs, end user freedom...lies a grin of corruption from a company that is praised by the people. i'm not surprised. at the level of success for Google, Apple, & a lot of the other companies out there...i'm sure corruption on several diff. levels are running rampant.

16. ambrown

Posts: 33; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

The real sad part about this is I did know these agreements existed. But I wasn't as aware of the legality of it. When it's that prevalent you know that's messed up. But hey, why should the government take the time to do something that really protects the people? Instead they initiated an anti-trust case based on claims from the competition *cough, Microsoft* that ended up being bogus. But what can I say? Uncle Sam (does't) have our backs. You know darn well the government knows this is gong on too, I mean how could they not? They've been investigating the whole of silicon valley off and on for the past two decades.

17. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Uh oh... some companies are gonna be in trouble. They're gonna have to send these e-mails through unknown accounts from now on. Maybe even pay a fine. Ouch! Those slaps on the wrist sure do sting.

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