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Motorola sues former employee turned Apple exec for ganking trade secrets

Chris Ziegler
July 18, 2008
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It's hard enough for Motorola's handset division to go about its business these days without losing talent, but losing executives to Apple's iPhone team? That's just a straight-up slap in the face, and Moto's not gonna take it lying down. The We Generation has filed suit against Michael Fenger, the dude running its handset business for the EMEA market for six years until March this year, when he quit to take up a posh job as Apple's veep of global iPhone sales. That isn't a problem in itself -- businessfolk switch teams all the time -- but it seems Mr. Fenger had an agreement in place not to work for a competitor inside of two years following his departure. Moto claims he "was privy to the pricing, margins, customer initiatives, allocation of resources, product development, multiyear product, business and talent planning and strategies being used by Motorola" (not to say that data's worth much more than the paper it's written on these days) and wants over a million bucks back plus a court order banning him from working for Cupertino for those promised two years retroactively to March 31; non-compete clauses generally aren't valid in California, but since this one was executed in Illinois and the case is filed in Chicago, they've got a shot here. Note to current execs still out there in Schaumburg: better start righting that ship you're on, because you ain't getting on a more buoyant one without a fight.

[Via CNET]



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