Cisco's general counsel, Mark Chandler, has criticised Hewlett Packard for taking legal action against ex-employees in a bid to prevent them working for rival firms.
This was all brought to the fore by Mr Chandler as part of a blog post where he describes three instances in the past two years where HP filed a lawsuit to stop one of its former employees from working with Cisco. While there wasn't much ground for this sort of action in any of the cases, the first time around the company was successful in scaring off the ex-employee, simply by being so persistant. What's most interesting is the fact that the man hadn't worked for HP for several months, the litigation only beginning when he looked set to take a job at Cisco.
The latest instance of this was just over a week ago, where as well as dragging its ex-employee in to a Californian court to try and enforce a no-compete clause, HP pushed for an emergency hearing in a Texas court in an attempt to skip over the hearing altogether. However, it was discovered what the company was up to and the Californian hearing went on as planned, with the now Cisco employee granted full leave to work there.
In what began as a bit of an HP bash and turned into somewhat of a mission statement on how firms should treat people that want to leave their employ, Chandler closed out the blog post by stating that he considers it "a sad day when great companies think they need to sue their own employees over and over again to stop them from bettering themselves in their chosen profession."
Of course though, he couldn't resist touting how well his own company - the rival that has been recruiting ex-HP employees - deals with new recruits and those that wish to leave: "Cisco’s promise to those looking to work in the networking industry is that no matter which of the fifty states you live in and work for Cisco, if you come to work for us we will apply California’s rule in favor of employee mobility nationwide. We know that employee retention is a matter of fair compensation and career opportunity, not litigation."