Apple Gambling on Papermaster’s Leadership Skills

November 11th, 2008 at 12:00 am

apple, mark papermaster, ibm

So Apple’s head honcho for the iPod Tony Fadell resigned his post as Senior Vice President for Devices Hardware Engineering and Apple recruited Mark Papermaster from IBM as the replacement. 

Now, instead of Apple getting a smooth transition between their two vice presidents, it seems that Papermasters former employer is bitter.  IBM filed a lawsuit against Mark Papermaster and an injunction to temporarily astop him from working at Apple.

Mark Papermaster is a hugely talented guy and Steve Jobs hand picked him to take Fadell’s position.  However, all that talent may not be put to good use for now since with IBM’s injunction, Papermaster cannot work at Apple.  IBM claims that Papermaster is under a non-compete agreement with IBM and hence should not be permitted to work with Apple. 

On the other hand, Papermaster says that Apple is not even an IBM competitor.  Papermaster filed court papers that noted, "Until this litigation effort by IBM, aside from the divested IBM personal computer business and a single sale several years ago of Apple’s Xserve product to a university, I do not recall a single instance of Apple being described as a competitor of IBM during my entire tenure at IBM."

Still, Apple is being cautious.  Sure they haven’t turned tail on Papermaster but have taken down his bio from their site.  

The bio describes Papermaster as the leader of the iPod and iPhone development.  It also noted that Papermaster "has 25 years of product and technology experience, and was previously a vice president at IBM responsible for blade development including x86, POWER, storage blades, chassis, network electronics and associated ecosystem.

He started his career in application-specific IC development circuit design at IBM’s Microelectronics Division, and had technical and management assignments in quality, CAD tool applications, and microprocessors." [AppleInsider]