Apple, IBM and a former employee of IBM Mark Papermaster have reached an agreement under which the latter will be able to return to his senior vice president position at Apple in late April, 2009. The agreement follows months of legal proceedings and accusations of Mr. Papermaster of violating his agreements with IBM.
IBM and Mr. Papermaster have now agreed on a resolution of the lawsuit under which Mr. Papermaster may not begin employment with Apple until April 24, 2009, six months after leaving IBM, and will remain subject thereafter to all of his contractual and other legal duties to IBM, including the obligation not to use or disclose IBM’s confidential information. Following commencement of his employment with Apple, Mr. Papermaster will be required to certify, in July 2009 and again in October 2009, that he has complied with his legal obligations not to use or disclose IBM’s confidential or proprietary information.
Mr. Papermaster resigned from IBM in late October 2008, claiming he was taking on an unspecified job at Apple. In its suit, IBM said that the former employee would be in breach of a no-compete agreement he signed in 2006 that “prevents him for working for competitors for one year if he were to sever ties with IBM”. Nevertheless, it seems that the agreement has been reached and he will be able to resume his work as senior vice president of devices hardware engineering at Apple roughly half a year after he left IBM.
Mark Papermaster is claimed to be a key developer of IBM Power PC microprocessor as an expert in chip design. Most recently he served as vice president for IBM’s blade server development. Papermaster also has been a member of the company's Integration and Values Team since 2006.
IBM does not complete with Apple on the market of general computers since IBM quit the PC business years ago. On the other hand, Apple sells Xserve servers that may potentially compete against IBM’s. Moreover, IBM has been trying to enter the market of consumer electronics with Power PC chip design for years now, without much success.