Battle of the blue-chips – IBM sues exec for move to Apple

3 Nov 2008

The growing importance of the cloud to the future of computing became apparent in recent days when IBM launched a lawsuit against a former blade guru for his departure to join Apple.

Mark Papermaster, who headed up IBM’s Blade Development Unit until last week, is understood to have signed a non-compete agreement with IBM.

It has emerged that Papermaster has agreed to join Apple as a top executive. Such a move indicates that the growing cloud computing vision rapidly being embraced by players such as Microsoft, Google, IBM, Yahoo! and is a boat Apple has no intention of missing.

Under his agreement with IBM, Papermaster is understood to have undertaken not to work for a rival company for a full year after his departure.

In a suit filed at a court in Manhattan, IBM said that Papermaster was one of 300 executives who had top-level access to IBM’s top intellectual property secrets.

For 26 years, Papermaster served IBM as head of its Integration and Values team.

IBM said that in his time with the company, Papermaster gained access to confidential information about the companies strategy, its marketing plans and long-term business opportunities.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years