Judge Orders Apple's New iPod and iPhone Chief to Stop Work Immediately

Mark Papermaster, a former IBM executive who's replacing retiring iPod chief Tony Fadell, came to Apple with some heavy baggage—namely a one-year no-compete clause that IBM said he was violating by working at Apple. U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karashas sided with IBM for the time being in their lawsuit, ordering Papermaster to "immediately cease his employment with Apple Inc. until further order of this court."

Papermaster's argument is that Apple actually doesn't compete with IBM, since "IBM focuses on high-performance business systems such as information technology infrastructure, servers and information storage products, and operating systems software," while "Apple, on the other hand, is in the business of designing, manufacturing and marketing consumer-oriented hardware and related products." More to the point, he says that "I do not recall a single instance of Apple being described as a competitor of IBM during my entire tenure at IBM."

Interestingly, he says he won't be directly involved with Apple's recently acquired chipmaker PA Semi (since running them would be a clear violation of the IBM agreement), though that seems like a bit of stretch, since they're supposedly making chips for the iPod and iPhone.

Apple is complying with the court order, but says they "are confident that Mark Papermaster will be able to ultimately join Apple when this dust settles." [Bloomberg, InfoWeek via AI, 9to5Mac]

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