Report: Judge blocks ex-IBM exec from joining Apple

Philip Michaels
10 November, 2008
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Apple introduced Mark Papermaster as its new senior vice president of devices hardware engineering this week. But the former IBM executive won’t be able to start work at Apple any time soon after his former employer won an injunction from a U.S. District judge in New York.

Both Bloomberg and Reuters are reporting that U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas has told Papermaster to “immediately cease his employment with Apple Inc. until further order of this court.” IBM had sought the injunction citing an agreement with Papermaster in which he would not work with any competitor for a year after leaving the tech giant.

Apple told both Bloomberg and Reuters it would comply with the judge’s order, though a spokesman expressed confidence that Papermaster would eventually be able to begin his duties at Apple.

Apple introduced Papermaster as its senior vice president of devices hardware engineering on Tuesday. In his new role, Papermaster was to have lead the iPod and iPhone engineering teams where he would report directly to CEO Steve Jobs. His hiring came as Tony Fadell, senior vice president of the iPod division, left the company.

Papermaster worked at IBM for a quarter-century, where he was the vice president of that company’s blade sever development unit until his resignation last month. The lawsuit filed by IBM also describes Papermaster as the company’s top expert on Power microprocessors.

Another hearing is slated for November 18, Bloomberg reports.

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