Google Inc. has for the first time poached a top manager from Apple, its main competitor in the field of mobile devices, reports VentureBeat, citing its own sources. According to the publication, Simon Prakash, who has worked in the Cupertino Company for more than eight years, will now be heading a secret project at Google.
According to his personal page on LinkedIn, Prakash worked at Apple as senior director of product integrity. As clarified by VentureBeat, he was responsible for the quality of all the devices of company – from smart phones to computers. In the past, Prakash worked at Cielo Communications as director of engineering design validation, as well as he managed reliability and FA services in 3Com.
According to VentureBeat, in Mountain View Prakash will lead the project, which is under personal supervision of Google co-founder Sergey Brin. It is also rumoured that the former Apple manager will join the Google X Lab, where future technologies are being developed. Presumably, Prakash can also take part in the development of new mobile devices, when the Internet giant completes merger with Motorola Mobility.
In 2009, there were reports in the media that Apple and Google, as well as several other major IT companies, including Pixar, Lucasfilm, Intel and Intuit, entered an oral agreement not to poach each other’s key employees and fixed their maximum permissible salaries. That same year, U.S. Justice Department began an investigation in respect of these companies, as such agreements are prohibited by law. The department ordered the companies not to enter into “no solicitation agreements” for five years.
Such informal agreements between Google and Apple have taken place earlier also. In late 2007, it was reported that Steve Jobs wrote an email to Eric Schmidt asking him not to poach key valuable employees. The then Google CEO fulfilled the request from Jobs by immediately dismissing an employee, writes AppleInsider.
If the report by VentureBeat about hiring of Simon Prakash by Google is true, then such an agreement between the two tech majors, obviously, has been “nullified”.