Power Guru Prevails, Gets to Take Job at Apple
February 2, 2009 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Well, that little drama has finally come to an end, and just in time for the 25th anniversary of the Apple Macintosh. Mark Papermaster, a Power processor and system chipset guru from IBM‘s Systems and Technology Group, is going to be allowed to go work as the head of Apple‘s iPod and iPhone hardware development, reporting to ailing chief executive officer, Steve Jobs.
Papermaster took the job at Apple last October, and a few days later IBM sued Papermaster to block him from joining Apple. A few days after that, a Federal court judge on IBM’s home turf in New York ruled that Papermaster could not take the job because he would be in violation of his non-compete agreement with Big Blue. In filings, Papermaster assured his former employer that he really was being hired to create hardware for iPods and iPhones and not to create a server business out of the clone Power processors that Apple has the rights to through its acquisition last year of fables chip designer PA Semi.
Here’s the official statement from 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. The preliminary injunction will be replaced by a court order under which the Court will have continuing jurisdiction over this matter, including compliance enforcement powers, until October 24, 2009, one year after Mr. Papermaster’s departure from IBM.”
So, basically, and I say this only with tongue partially in cheek, you can expect Papermaster to get cracking on a new line of PA Semi-derived Power clone processors on October 25, 2009, if I read that document correctly. And how funny would it be for Apple to switch back to Power chips but not use any from former Power chip supplier Big Blue, but rather take its own Power designs out to the fabs of the world that are just yearning for some work?