Apple’s new iPod chief, Mark Papermaster, has been directed by a US district court to stop working with immediate effect on the basis of a non-compete agreement he penned with his previous company IBM, in which he had assured not to serve the competitors for at least a year after leaving the organisation.
A ruling from US District for Southern New York on Friday states, “Mark Papermaster will immediately cease his employment with Apple Inc. until further order of this court”.
Earlier on Tuesday, Papermaster replaced Tony Fadell to assume the new role of senior VP of devices and hardware engineering in Apple Inc.
Papermaster served IBM for 26 years, and recently stepped down from the position of vice president of IBM’s blade development unit, which develops IBM’s blade-model servers.
According to IBM lawsuit, “Papermaster is in possession of significant and highly confidential IBM trade secrets and know-how, as well as highly sensitive information regarding business strategy and long-term opportunities”, disclosure of which would potentially harm the company.
However, Apple responded to IBM complaint in a counter-filing claiming that the new role of Papermaster would require his sound management and technical skills, instead of any trade secrets of his previous company.
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The IBM Power PC 970FX microprocessor which Mark Papermaster helped launch.
Mark Papermaster will fill the shoes of Tony Fadell who left the company shortly before Papermaster joined Apple.
Papermaster will oversee the production of Apple's most popular product range, the iPod
There are rumours that Papermaster's appointment is the sign that Apple will soon start designing its iPhone chips inhouse.