updated 09:10 pm EST, Sat November 8, 2008
Papermaster forced to stop
Apple's newly-hired iPod chief has already been ordered to step down from his position until further notice, Reuters reports. A US District Court judge for New York state has declared that because Mark Papermaster may be in violation of a non-compete agreement with his former company, IBM, he must "immediately cease his employment" with Apple. Apple's management has agreed to abide by the decision for now.
The judge, Kenneth Karas, has stated that Papermaster can file an objection by Tuesday. A separate hearing has been scheduled for November 18th.
IBM claims that under the terms of its NCA, Papermaster agreed to avoid working for a competitor for a year. Papermaster's lawyers have argued that a year without work in the electronics industry would be "incredibly damaging to his career," and that the Apple position is a "once-in-a-lifetime 'dream job.'"
Papermaster has also suggested that Apple and IBM do not compete with each other, at least not in an area related to his chip design expertise, and that he was not hired because of his technical knowledge. Comments from Apple CEO Steve Jobs, however, have indicated that Papermaster could be called upon to use knowledge of chips to help guide iPod and iPhone development, if not participate directly.