Steve Jobs asked Google to stop poaching Apple workers

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Comments

  • charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,068member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rbryanh View Post


    Consider that the definition "poaching" is theft of livestock, and that it's historical use has often involving livestock belonging to royalty.



    And this isn't the middle ages. Language is fluid and grows. While that might be the historic definition and use, today poaching has other meanings.
  • digitalclipsdigitalclips Posts: 15,203member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by boredumb View Post


    He clearly did intervene...he just as clearly shouldn't have.



    I would suspect Steve was thinking about the non compete clauses which I am sure valuable Apple employees all have. Better to discuss this verbally than fire off law suits.
  • digitalclipsdigitalclips Posts: 15,203member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    Several of my former Apple and earlier, NeXT Engineers went to work at Google with huge incentives, to work on the same area of work they did at Apple.



    I won't name names.



    Great people, but let's be clear, a Search Engine company suddenly became an OS Company and a lot of Apple talent shows up and you don't think Steve's going to intervene?



    I'd agree, by communicating Steve was actually trying to avoid legal action by the sounds of it. You would know but surely these ex Apple staff had signed non compete contacts?
  • swiftswift Posts: 436member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rbryanh View Post


    Apple would have the world believe that the degradation they support in China is far away and nothing to worry about it, but in fact, corporate sociopathy begins at home. This perspective is so common that it's easy to grow numb to just how appalling the underlying assumptions are.



    Consider that the definition "poaching" is theft of livestock, and that it's historical use has often involving livestock belonging to royalty. You can't steal what someone else doesn't own, and the last time I checked, Apple was neither King of any country nor Lord of any manor and ownership of human beings was a violation of the US Constitution.



    Of course multi-national corporations have spent the last half century successfully acquiring more rights than individual American citizens, simply buying new law whenever violating existing strictures becomes too expensive. It's not difficult to imagine that slavery, indentured servitude, "company" towns, and all the rest might be even larger in our future than they are in our past. In an era of declining labor representation, rage, terror, and immediate action would be appropriate responses to this news-that-isn't-really-news for anyone who doesn't care to be a serf.



    The press will cover this is as a minor legal issue, not a major social nightmare, when in fact, Apple and any other company involved in such practices should suffer extraordinarily severe penalties for violating one of the core precepts of the society in which they exist. Nothing any corporation is, does, or makes can ever justify even the hint of treating human beings as property, and Apple would make an excellent example "to encourage the others."



    You didn't read the story, did you. I guess your little own apocalyptic drama fit better, so why not get all dramatic? They were all doing it. It's all over now. They've agreed to stop. In 2007, Jobs asked Schmidt, on the board, if they'd all agree to stop poaching. The people they're talking about are on the highest level, and some might have been hurt by it. If there was some fixing of salaries in basketball -- oh, wait, they call that the salary cap, and it was negotiated as part of the last NBA agreement. Is it the same kind of upset when a bball player can only make $14 million a year, and not $20 million, because of the other salaries on his team? Not hardly.



    Still, it's wrong. If I was in line for high positions at a number of companies, I'd want a bidding war to erupt -- but then again, I'd probably stay with Apple. If some inferior firm wants to get you for another $5 million, but it would have to be at HP - well, nuts to that.



    I doubt that it really hurt so many people as you seem, so breathlessly, to say.
  • igxqrrligxqrrl Posts: 105member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Swift View Post


    You didn't read the story, did you. I guess your little own apocalyptic drama fit better, so why not get all dramatic? They were all doing it. It's all over now. They've agreed to stop. In 2007, Jobs asked Schmidt, on the board, if they'd all agree to stop poaching. The people they're talking about are on the highest level, and some might have been hurt by it.



    I was contacted by a recruiter for one of the companies involved, who quickly followed up with "I'm sorry, I just learned that we're not allowed to active recruit from your company." I'm certainly not a 'high-level' employee.



    Quote:

    Still, it's wrong. If I was in line for high positions at a number of companies, I'd want a bidding war to erupt -- but then again, I'd probably stay with Apple. If some inferior firm wants to get you for another $5 million, but it would have to be at HP - well, nuts to that.



    I doubt that it really hurt so many people as you seem, so breathlessly, to say.



    It hurt all employees in the industry by hindering mobility and therefore depressing wages. Granted, as an industry that has largely escaped the recession and is compensated at above average rates to begin with, this is hardly a particularly sympathetic group. But as someone pointed out in another thread, if it's OK here, it's OK for Target and Walmart to do the same thing with entry-level employees.
  • drobforeverdrobforever Posts: 400member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by igxqrrl View Post


    I was contacted by a recruiter for one of the companies involved, who quickly followed up with "I'm sorry, I just learned that we're not allowed to active recruit from your company." I'm certainly not a 'high-level' employee.




    No surprise. Big companies use all sorts of ways to control cost and keep wages low.



    Apple is keeping all this money in the bank, and the stock keeps going up, it's all nice and warm, but even as a shareholder i won't mind they bump the wages of employees even more to retain talent instead of using these tactics. This basically ties to the China situation, it's dumb for Apple to not find ways to treat those Chinese workers better.
  • tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bwik View Post


    Par for the course in Apple and MS's disrespect for IT and other industry professionals. To them, the cheapest possible worker is always the answer. Bill Gates is extensively on record saying MSFT needs to import more H1-B workers even though the US has unlimited talent pools in law, medicine and MBA. Why can't Microsoft and Apple recruit staff? Because they don't want to pay American wages to high achieving Americans. Instead, those people go into law, medicine, consulting, banking etc.



    My point is, they could pay the relevant people a wage in the 300k-800k bracket. But they would rather hire a person from India or China at $70,000. I might rather hire a heart surgeon from Thailand at $70k. And make a killing off the proceeds of his surgery. It's all about what you can negotiate, in the end. And if powerful companies write the laws, as they do in China, then the people are nothing but slaves.



    You want the benefits of a free enterprise system? Then you have to live with its drawbacks as well. The US did not become the center of the high tech industry because they shut out all those lean and hungry engineers from overseas.
  • stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    "terminated within the hour"



    That sounds like something in a movie. In the real world, you wouldn't fire someone so hastily unless egregious behaviour has already been documented, which does not sound like the case here. I think this is either an exaggeration or pure fabrication on someone's part.
  • stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by igxqrrl View Post


    I was contacted by a recruiter for one of the companies involved, who quickly followed up with "I'm sorry, I just learned that we're not allowed to active recruit from your company." I'm certainly not a 'high-level' employee.







    It hurt all employees in the industry by hindering mobility and therefore depressing wages. Granted, as an industry that has largely escaped the recession and is compensated at above average rates to begin with, this is hardly a particularly sympathetic group. But as someone pointed out in another thread, if it's OK here, it's OK for Target and Walmart to do the same thing with entry-level employees.



    There's a difference between not recruiting and not hiring. Mobility is only hindered if a no-hiring from so-and-so policy is effected, which is not the case here.
  • markbyrnmarkbyrn Posts: 560member
    There's a world of difference between a company not proactively recruiting from another company and a company not accepting applications or refusing to hire somebody from that company. Of course that critical distinction gets lost in the tech pundit hysteria. Ergo, if an Apple engineer was looking to shop his skills at Google and they told him to hit the door, both Apple and Google should be punished to the full extent of the law but if the agreement was simply not to solicit Apple engineers to see if they'd switch companies, different ball game.
  • drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post


    There's a world of difference between a company not proactively recruiting from another company and a company not accepting applications or refusing to hire somebody from that company. Of course that critical distinction gets lost in the tech pundit hysteria. Ergo, if an Apple engineer was looking to shop his skills at Google and they told him to hit the door, both Apple and Google should be punished to the full extent of the law but if the agreement was simply not to solicit Apple engineers to see if they'd switch companies, different ball game.



    How would you tell the difference in practice though? Imagine you are an engineer at Apple, and get approached with a better offer from Google. What's to stop you from accepting that better offer and pretending that it was you who contacted Google first? Or, if you don't want the offer, would you go like a serf and spill the beans in front of you boss at Apple?



    Some arrangements between companies may be legal, but none is moral nor in the best interest of the employees, any any arrangement not prohibiting hiring can be circumvented.
  • brendonbrendon Posts: 642member
    Another angle is, what if Eric was still on the Apple board when the incident occurred? I'm thinking it would be bad form at best to have a board member's company actively soliciting workers, the board member could have access to which engineers to target. Just a thought.
  • superdxsuperdx Posts: 67member
    Employees that leave for a higher salary can be equally poached by another company offering yet a higher salary.



    From a recruitment perspective, the companies should avoid people like this. All it encourages is increasing the amount of pay for the same relative skillset.



    NB - This is glaringly apparent in Hong Kong, which no rules at all on employee recruitment. The only people that benefit are headhunters. You end up with mediocre talent in extremely overpaid tech positions. It doesn't benefit the company and the employee jumps ship every 1-2 years. I'd hate to imagine what that would do to an actual productive industry like Silicon Valley.



    Plus, employers aren't stupid. Guess who gets fired first when the layoffs come - exactly these overpaid resources which could be replaced by a headhunter in very short time.
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,052member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rbryanh View Post


    Consider that the definition "poaching" is theft of livestock, and that it's historical use has often involving livestock belonging to royalty. You can't steal what someone else doesn't own, and the last time I checked, Apple was neither King of any country nor Lord of any manor and ownership of human beings was a violation of the US Constitution.



    The press will cover this is as a minor legal issue, not a major social nightmare, when in fact, Apple and any other company involved in such practices should suffer extraordinarily severe penalties for violating one of the core precepts of the society in which they exist. Nothing any corporation is, does, or makes can ever justify even the hint of treating human beings as property, and Apple would make an excellent example "to encourage the others."



    The linked Reuters article used the term "poaching," and ReutersInsider copied that verbage because, you know, that's what they do. However, the companies involved in the practice call it "no recruit" or "no solicitation" which is a more accurate description of what allegedly took place.



    So the press is correct to cover this as a "minor legal issue" because that is what it is. Your argument that it is a "major social nightmare" is based entirely on you taking the metaphor "poaching" too literally and blowing this out of proportion. Apple doesn't claim to be King or Lord of any thing, and they don't treat employees as property. If you have any proof beyond paranoid fantasies of Apple's "violation of the US Constitution," bring it before a court.
  • inkswampinkswamp Posts: 337member
    I guess I need a clarification about what this means. If it just means that each company agrees not to actively target another company's talent, then no big deal. I don't see the harm in that. But if it goes further and includes not hiring or offering such a person more money if they're seeking a new job, then it's bullshit and all companies involved should be kicked in the ass.
  • galbigalbi Posts: 968member
    Anti-competitive...even down to its employees.



    Apple was an inch away from sueing Google for poaching its own employees.
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,052member
    Is it just me, or does Eric Schmidt look like he's perpetually constipated with searing gas pains? I mean, does he look relaxed?



  • drobforeverdrobforever Posts: 400member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by inkswamp View Post


    I guess I need a clarification about what this means. If it just means that each company agrees not to actively target another company's talent, then no big deal. I don't see the harm in that.



    That's basically the key problem here. Many people think it's actually !OK! for companies to agree not to actively target another company's talent, in order to - collectively - pay lower salary to employees. And yet, employees have to actively compete with other employees in order to get hired by companies. Otherwise, it's bad (a.k.a. unions are bad, as many people here have said, which I in a degree agree with). It's the inconsistency in viewing what companies can do vs. what employees can do that's really pissing off a lot of ordinary folks on the main street, not the 'oh poor people envy rich people' kinda crap.
  • galbigalbi Posts: 968member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Is it just me, or does Eric Schmidt look like he's perpetually constipated with searing gas pains? I mean, does he look relaxed?







    Dont make fun of people of how they look. They didnt choose to be so when they were born.
  • rivertriprivertrip Posts: 99member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    Schmidt and company could have told Steve to kick rocks and what could he do. Stop making Google the default search engine for Apple stuff, ask that Schmidt be kicked off the board. Okay sure, go for it. Sue, nope. Not unless they can prove that what Google was doing was illegal.



    Schmidt and friends are the ones that decided to halt things, to fire the recruiter and to stop talking to Apple staff from the sounds of things. So that's all on them, not Apple.



    I suspect a big part of how this suit will fall out will depend on the nature of the employment contracts and whether they contain valid clauses that would prevent the employee from leaving at the time that they were being actively recruited. If this is the case then the recruitment could be seen as encouraging said parties to violate their contract by leaving, which is not so cool. Another big part of the game will be if what we are talking about is not chasing after active employees or agreeing to turn them away even if they approach the company to change jobs (the latter I totally agree is and should be a no no)



    You don't understand the legal definition of "conspire".
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