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Microsoft reportedly blocked datacenter head from Apple work

updated 05:15 pm EDT, Fri October 28, 2011

Microsoft may have forced staffer out of Apple

Microsoft may have blackballed Apple's choice of datacenter head in the moves that ultimately led to Apple hiring from Yahoo, according an unusually detailed rumor. After fighting opposition from his immediate management on his way out, Kevin Timmons was supposedly met by CEO Steve Ballmer, SAI heard. Timmons may have had an "attitude" during the meeting that led to Ballmer reaching Apple directly, threatening legal action if Apple completed the hire.

Apple backed off, leading Timmons to switch over to CyrusOne and Apple to replace him with Yahoo's Scott Noteboom. He had reportedly made a proposal that would lower the costs of datacenters like that in North Carolina for iCloud.

Timmons hadn't responded to comments, while Microsoft was preparing an answer but hadn't yet confirmed or commented on the details.

While it's possible that Timmons may have done something to unnecessarily provoke Ballmer, the CEO may have been spurred on by attempts to thwart competition. Although it's not clear how much Microsoft would have known when Apple hired Timmons in April, iCloud, iTunes in the Cloud, and iTunes Match roughly compete with Microsoft technologies like SkyDrive, the Zune Music Marketplace, and Zune Pass. Microsoft continues to lose hundreds of millions of dollars each quarter trying to compete with Google in the cloud, and Ballmer would likely object to Timmons helping open a third front at Apple.

Ballmer may have wielded a non-compete clause to prevent Timmons from going directly to Apple. Most such clauses are illegal in California, but not in Washington state.

by MacNN Staff



  1. msuper69

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nice move A**hole...

    Balmer, you are such a small-minded little creep. Let the guy go work wherever he wants to. You really think holding him back from working at Apple is going to help Microsoft in some way?

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Keeping Ballmer in his compromising position

    is the best thing for Apple.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "...and Ballmer would likely object to Timmons helping open a third front at Apple."

    Ballmer, dude! That third front came, went, and left yer bald butt in the dust. All you got to show for it is a smart guy that left Microsoft, and didn't get a chance to work where he wanted to. You must be proud. :

  1. ciparis

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Show some balls, Apple. If the guy is qualified, and he wants to work for you, who gives a f*** what anyone else has to say? California is a Right to Work state. No company has ANY say in keeping someone out of work. Period.

  1. redcapzero

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Nice to know, but your info is far to general; true California is a "Right to Work" state, but that doesn't mean that I as an (CA) employer hasn't the right to "SAY" who IS qualified or not. Granted any potential candidate has the right (in CA) to submit a resume, in turn I have the right to either follow through w/ either shreading or setting up a interview.
    Besides, M$ is based out of WASHINGTON; think about it...WASHINGTON (not CA), specific, seperate state labor laws come to mind perhaps?
    5 years ago, for additional income, I applied for part-time work at a local Starbucks here in NorCal. Seeing that it had been decades since I had last applied for any other type of work, it didn't seem odd that Starbucks asked for my birthdate on the app. to which I volunteered; HUGE mistake, seeing that I was 53 at the time and seeing that Starbucks has a thing about age, I wasn't granted an interview. Now, CA is progressive regarding age / orientation / religious etc status and Starbucks BROKE CA law by asking for age within their application for employment, but then again, where is Starbucks based out of...Washington; a whole different animal.

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