Google reportedly hired away Apple senior director for 'secret project'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014


A new report claims Google has managed to hire away Apple's senior director of product integrity to work on a "secret project" in its highest-level recruitment pull from its rival.



VentureBeat claims to have learned that Simon Prakash, an eight-year Apple veteran whose currently lists him as Senior Director of Product Integrity, is leaving the company for Google. Report author Dean Takahashi called the new hire "historic" for Google, as Prakash is reportedly the most senior person that the Mountain View, Calif., company has recruited away from Apple.



In his new role at Google, Prakash will allegedly work on a "secret project" that may be led by co-founder Sergei Brin. Brin is believed to be in charge of a number of clandestine research and development projects at the company, including an "X" lab that works on speculative technology.



Apple has viewed losing its workers to Google as a problem in the past. In 2007, late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs sent an email to then Google CEO Eric Schmidt asking that the company not actively pursue Apple's employees.



"I would be very pleased if your recruiting department would stop doing this," Jobs wrote. Schmidt took immediate action and one of the offending employees was promptly dismissed.



In 2009, reports claimed that the two companies had unwritten agreements not to go after each other's employees. The U.S. Department of Justice also opened an investigation into whether several major technology companies, including Apple and Google, had entered into such agreements illegally. The companies eventually settled with the DoJ and were ordered not to make "no solicitation agreements" for five years.



The Justice Department investigation sparked a class-action lawsuit from former employees that alleged the companies had conspired to "suppress compensation" of their workers.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,411member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    A new report claims Google has managed to hire away Apple's senior director of product integrity to work on a "secret project"...

    [ View article on AppleInsider ]



    He's a double agent.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,379member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ...Google... ..."secret project"... ...Senior Director of Product Integrity...



    "We need you to take this..."



    *shows him Android*



    "...and make it not suck."



    O~R...



    "We need you to oversee these guys to make sure they don't put tracking, pharming, or otherwise evil crap in our products."



    "... You know, my old job description meant the OTHER kind of integrity..."
  • irelandireland Posts: 15,565member
  • monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,077member
    It's a shame Apple can't cut former employees tongues out.



    (though Steve probably wouldn't have made quite as great a comeback had he been rendered tongueless ).
  • digitalclipsdigitalclips Posts: 15,375member
    The guy was actually the Director of Silly Projects but the sign on his door was faded.



    Seriously though, what does this say about Google's confidence that they can innovate? They got a leg up on ripping off iOS from inside information now they need some ideas about what on earth the next big things will be. Surely this hire won't be good for them in future law suits.
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    A new report claims Google has managed to hire away Apple's senior director of product integrity to work on a "secret project" in its highest-level recruitment pull from its rival.



    VentureBeat claims to have learned that Simon Prakash, an eight-year Apple veteran whose currently lists him as Senior Director of Product Integrity, is leaving the company for Google. Report author Dean Takahashi called the new hire "historic" for Google, as Prakash is reportedly the most senior person that the Mountain View, Calif., company has recruited away from Apple.



    In his new role at Google, Prakash will allegedly work on a "secret project" that may be led by co-founder Sergei Brin. Brin is believed to be in charge of a number of clandestine research and development projects at the company, including an "X" lab that works on speculative technology.



    Apple has viewed losing its workers to Google as a problem in the past. In 2007, late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs sent an email to then Google CEO Eric Schmidt asking that the company not actively pursue Apple's employees.



    "I would be very pleased if your recruiting department would stop doing this," Jobs wrote. Schmidt took immediate action and one of the offending employees was promptly dismissed.



    In 2009, reports claimed that the two companies had unwritten agreements not to go after each other's employees. The U.S. Department of Justice also opened an investigation into whether several major technology companies, including Apple and Google, had entered into such agreements illegally. The companies eventually settled with the DoJ and were ordered not to make "no solicitation agreements" for five years.



    The Justice Department investigation sparked a class-action lawsuit from former employees that alleged the companies had conspired to "suppress compensation" of their workers.



    [ View article on AppleInsider ]



    There are actions Apple can take.



    Right off the bat, they will probably send a reminder to the employee (possibly copying Google) reminding him that he signed a nondisclosure agreement and can not use any confidential information he obtained at Apple. That puts everyone on notice.



    If the guy uses Apple's confidential information, they can sue both the employee and Google.



    And, in extreme cases, they can file to have the employees employment terminated. If they can show that it's impossible for him to work for Google without violating his NDA, it is possible (although very rare) to block his employment.





    That said, it's simply a tempest in a teapot. The guy is a "Senior Director of Product Integrity", which is, essentially, a quality control type job. It is unlikely that he has advance knowledge of future Apple plans, other than perhaps having some working knowledge of anything that is very close to release.
  • gprovidagprovida Posts: 211member
    If this super secret thingy is a competitive product with Apple, e.g., iTV or iTunes or Siri, then this could be really interesting in a few years. It will be interesting to know if there is a non-compete clause in the contract and if it will be invoked.



    Regarding good people leaving Apple for other jobs, in a deep sense this is good. Apple has developed a remarkable set of business practices and values that are 180 degrees out of synch with standard MBA-babble [look at the CALPERS wanting the change Apple Governance to align with mediocre industry performance best practices].



    Getting truly novel and innovative practices out there [back to the future] on user experience, value, and quality cannot be all bad. Driving real innovation vs me-too-ism or copying [SAMSUNG and Google anyone?] will also be great for industry, practice, economy, and customers.
  • absolutedesignzabsolutedesignz Posts: 1,930member
    Lol. He didn't take a blood oath for Apple. As long as what he does doesn't violate anything he signed all is well.



    You lot are acting pathetic as if no one is allowed to go anywhere once they get to Apple. If he felt this was the right move and he has been part of Apple's rise to dominance then obviously Apple felt he was a worthy man and it goes without saying that others see it too.
  • The description about hiring each others employees is somewhat inaccurate. The 2007 & 9 discussion and agreement was about one firm cold calling employees at the other firm and pitching them about job offers, not about simply taking the employees from the other firm. So if someone at Apple applied for a position at Google that was ok, it was the cold calling that the 2007 & 9 agreements centred on.



    It's very likely that this chap has a non-dislosure/non-competition clause in his contract. Since Apple hasn't put up a fuss its probable that the job at Google is unrelated to his work at Apple and all this has been talked through at both firms. Otherwise there's be a Papermaster like scene over the hire.
  • pacificfilmpacificfilm Posts: 96member
    "'...Regarding good people leaving Apple for other jobs, in a deep sense this is good. Apple has developed a remarkable set of business practices and values ...





    So Apple works for years to develop a unique business paradigm, risks the farm more than once, becomes the world leader in its' field...therefore...in your opinion.......they should share their experience with competitors who aren't able to achieve it on their own.



    "...Getting truly novel and innovative practices out there [back to the future] on user experience, value, and quality cannot be all bad. Driving real innovation vs me-too-ism or copying..."



    And, in your opinion, hiring someone who brings Apple's mindset, techniques, experience ISN'T "me-too-ism"?



    As liberal as I am in most thinking, this approach is the basis for "spreading the wealth" in a way that says everybody will benefit, we must share among ourselves, even if we cannot innovate, we are entitled to being successful too.



    Those are NOT words from the mind and soul of an entrepreneur. Perhaps from the mind and needs to other categories of thinkers.
  • island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    Hmmmm... this secret project sounds more like one of Apple's fake projects to test the new hire's loyalty.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,379member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


    Hmmmm... this secret project sounds more like one of Apple's fake projects to test the new hire's loyalty.



    I buy that. Apple's fake projects are SO fake, they masquerade as Google projects.
  • lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,255member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pacificfilm View Post


    "'...Regarding good people leaving Apple for other jobs, in a deep sense this is good. Apple has developed a remarkable set of business practices and values ...





    So Apple works for years to develop a unique business paradigm, risks the farm more than once, becomes the world leader in its' field...therefore...in your opinion.......they should share their experience with competitors who aren't able to achieve it on their own.



    "...Getting truly novel and innovative practices out there [back to the future] on user experience, value, and quality cannot be all bad. Driving real innovation vs me-too-ism or copying..."



    And, in your opinion, hiring someone who brings Apple's mindset, techniques, experience ISN'T "me-too-ism"?



    As liberal as I am in most thinking, this approach is the basis for "spreading the wealth" in a way that says everybody will benefit, we must share among ourselves, even if we cannot innovate, we are entitled to being successful too.



    Those are NOT words from the mind and soul of an entrepreneur. Perhaps from the mind and needs to other categories of thinkers.



    You seem to be mistaking "monopolist" and "entrepreneur". If only one company is allowed to have the best brains, it turns into a monopoly. It then stops innovating. That's not entrepreneur's mindset, unless you consider late-era Rockefellers "entrepreneurs". I believe Steve Jobs/ Larry Page are entrepreneurs. Steve Ballmer, not so much. He'd love your way of thinking though.
  • andyappleandyapple Posts: 152member
    So can the loose Apple employee be remote wiped?
  • brendonbrendon Posts: 642member
    I wonder how long it will take before Apple begins to hire Google employees?? Tim is not Steve, and working conditions at Apple may improve dramatically in the coming years. Steve did not head up Apple Skunk-Works, he took the projects that everyone said had a future, he brought them forward. So it is only a matter of time, this goes back and forth all the time.
  • matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by andyapple View Post


    So can the loose Apple employee be remote wiped?



    Quick! Find My Employee in iOS 6.
  • matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Brendon View Post


    I wonder how long it will take before Apple begins to hire Google employees?? Tim is not Steve, and working conditions at Apple may improve dramatically in the coming years. Steve did not head up Apple Skunk-Works, he took the projects that everyone said had a future, he brought them forward. So it is only a matter of time, this goes back and forth all the time.



    Google need ideas. Apple doesn't exactly need engineer.
  • pacificfilmpacificfilm Posts: 96member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post


    You seem to be mistaking "monopolist" and "entrepreneur". If only one company is allowed to have the best brains, it turns into a monopoly. It then stops innovating. That's not entrepreneur's mindset, unless you consider late-era Rockefellers "entrepreneurs". I believe Steve Jobs/ Larry Page are entrepreneurs. Steve Ballmer, not so much. He'd love your way of thinking though.





    I'm not sure if you read his post closely, or if you interpreted it to fit your viewpoint. He advocates "driving real innovation vs me-too-ism or copying" by attempting to use Apple's "remarkable set of business practices and values tat are 180 degrees out of synch with standard MBA-babble" which is hardly entrepreneurial. "Hey, Apple seems to go against traditional thinking and copying. Let's do what they're doing, so we can be non-traditional too."



    I've had many many entrepreneurial ventures, some successful, some not so successful. All I can say is, the argument he presents and you seem to support, isn't innovation or entrepreneurial in the slightest degree. I don't think this is a huge loss for Apple, just a sign of wanting what Apple has in its' DNA. I don't think most people working aren't, at heart, entrepreneurial, which is as it should be, and keeps the wheels of the machine turning, having a spectrum of mind sets.



    Steve Ballmer runs from true entrepreneurial spirit in every major thrust MS has taken. I'm not clear at all why you think he would endorse a true innovative spirit. He is a sales guy.
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,092member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Brendon View Post


    I wonder how long it will take before Apple begins to hire Google employees??



    Is it Apple's goal to do that?
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Brendon View Post


    I wonder how long it will take before Apple begins to hire Google employees??



    I'm guessing 50 years. That's how long it will take before Google has anyone that Apple wants to hire.
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