Report: Jobs tried for anti-poaching deal with Palm

It is disappointing, but hardly amazing, that Jobs would try to do something that shows such disrespect to the engineers and others who actually create the products he gets credit for

As Steve Jobs' reputation continues to sink, we receive word that the Apple boss tried to make a deal with Palm not to poach each other's employees. Palm rebuffed the suggestion as "likely illegal."

It doesn't surprise me that former Palm CEO Ed Colligan would turn Jobs down, even though communication between the two included an implied legal threat by Apple against Palm, Bloomberg reported.

"Your proposal that we agree that neither company will hire the other's employees, regardless of the individual's desires, is not only wrong, it is likely illegal," Colligan said to Jobs last August, according to the news agency.

Colligan said he thought about Jobs' proposal and considered offering hiring concessions, before deciding against it. Not surprising as Colligan is a good guy.

Jobs succeeded in making such an arrangement with Google, according to published reports. The feds are investigating and the Palm allegations only make Apple look worse.

It is disappointing, but hardly amazing, that Jobs would try to do something that shows such disrespect to the engineers and others who actually create the products he gets credit for.

The Palm discussion occurred after the company hired away Jon Rubenstein, a longtime Apple exec now credited with the smartphone strategy that resulted in the Palm Pre, released earlier this year.

"We must do whatever we can to stop this," Jobs said in the communications, reported by Bloomberg.

Steve, there is an easy way to "stop this" that isn't nearly so likely to trigger a federal investigation: Stop treating your people like indentured servants. Treat them well, pay them what they are worth, and accept that even then some will want to leave for different, even greener pastures.

Trying to stop employees from talking jobs elsewhere is simply wrong and, as Ed Colligan warned, "likely illegal."

Jobs has already avoided the bullet in a scandal over backdated stock option grants, which put money in chosen employees pockets at the expense of shareholders.

With the Obama justice department and other federal regulators already looking closely at Apple over the iPhone and handset exclusivity and the sharing of board members, Jobs' alleged anti-poaching efforts only add to the fire that is growing around him.

It is always fun to watch supposed champions of free enterprise do their very best to squelch its magic and get caught. Also very sad.

Veteran industry-watcher David Coursey tweets as @techinciter and can be contacted via his Web site.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Coursey

PC World (US online)
Topics: Palm, Apple, steve jobs, Palm Pre, iPhone
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?