Fired Apple employee claims Jobs promised him job security, files wrongful termination suit

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 84
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    doh123 wrote: »
    this isn't a report... its completely one sided too with information only coming from this guys lawyer, which will say anything to make Apple look like the evil company victimizing his client.

    Very good point. This is a lawsuit so the lawyer isn't about to say anything that could make Apple sound like okay folks that made a little boo boo
  • Reply 42 of 84
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    timmydax wrote: »
    . Either way, it's obvious that Cook's presentations are a little lacklustre in comparison to Steve's.

    After Steve, everyone will seem lackluster, and no spinning and dancing keynote or earth shattering new products will change that. Cooks personality is just not the same and we had years of Steve ingrained in us
  • Reply 43 of 84


    Wayne Goodrich is available?

  • Reply 44 of 84
    The guy already looks dead in the water now it is in the open.

    The machine will already be kicking in.
  • Reply 45 of 84
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,397member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GTR View Post



    Fired from a company that you've invested a huge portion of your life in?

    What would you do NeXT?


     


    iFixed it for you dept:


     


    What would you do, NeXT?


     


    ...or...


     


    What would you do?  NeXT!

  • Reply 46 of 84

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by David Salzberg View Post


    I do not know the law, and especially not California law.  But in my state (VA), unless you have a specific contract (promise to always having a job is not a contract; it does not mention compensation), you are an AT WILL employee, with some protections.  At Will means I can leave the company whenever I want, and the company can terminate me when they want (barring certain cases...religious, racial, sex discrimination; reserve duty; Family and medical leave act).  But, if my boss disappeared, the new boss would have the right to terminate me.  


     


    On the other hand, I can leave my company and work for someone else, as long as I do not take the trade secrets.





     IANAL, but I believe this essentially correct, and California is an At Will state, however a wrongful termination suit can still be brought upon a company. The burden of proof is on the employee however to show that the company was attempting to terminate illegally or unjustly. California does not have an Implied Contract clause where if your boss states he/she'll never fire you, so I'll be surprised if the "Steve said I could still work here forever" stands up, even if he has witnesses.  It may go to support evidence  that someone else had it in for him though.


     


    The article doesn't say whether he was offered severance. I imagine he was forced to turn it down, as usually you have to sign away your right to sue if you take severance.


     


    As for his stock, they guy deserves to be fairly compensated. I believe in restricted stock grants there are always clear terms on what happens when you're terminated. I've seen it where they vest early upon  termination before. Perhaps Apple's terms say they are forfeit.


     


    Sucks to be this guy.

  • Reply 47 of 84
    desuserigndesuserign Posts: 1,316member


    *Nobody* can expect job security.


    But Apple should make good on the stock deal.

  • Reply 48 of 84
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post




    No, actually, put yourself in his shoes. Think of your wife and your children. OK?


     


    He needs to get as much money out of Apple as he can. You'd do the same, don't lie.



    Getting fired and not getting vested stock options is bad business practices. Without a "VALID" reason is hiding behind some other reason that might not be legal.  California has various laws to protect people's rights.


     


    There are laws in the State and Federal level that does protect the employee.


     


    When a company has nothing documented to give a valid reason to prevent someone from obtaining vested stock options, that is just wrong.  I still have yet to meet a legal council representing a corporation that was honest in every aspect of how they conduct business.  If they have a legitimate reason and it's documented to fire someone, then it should be documented.


     


    NO ONE wants to be fired preventing them from obtaining their vested stock options, because that's partly why they want to work and partly how companies attract people to work for the company.


     


    When someone at his level gets fired and there is no just cause, it prevents him from getting employment.




    I don't know the facts of this case other that what's being said in the article, which isn't detailed enough, but apparently he is willing to go public, so there usually is merit.


     


    If they just didn't want him there anymore, there are ways to excuse him from his position to where he isn't left without being able to get employment, vested stock options and for him to be able t move on with his life.


     


    Most companies aren't looking out for their employees.  They may say they are, but in reality, they aren't.  It's a shame people have to be put in this position in the first place where they have to get an attorney involved.


     


    Treat employees how you want to be treated if the tables are turned, that's the best advice I could give to ANYONE that is a position to hire or fire someone.    Generic business letters are written in  such a way, where it is usually an excuse for attorneys that don't have a conscious.


     


    Personally, if someone says, they weren't working out well, I would like to see some hard evidence as real examples of HOW they weren't working out with detailed accounting of actual scenarios, rather than hiding behind corporate rhetoric.

  • Reply 49 of 84
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post


    *Nobody* can expect job security.


    But Apple should make good on the stock deal.



    Back in the old days, companies used to have NO LAY OFF policies.  Those days are gone because of bad management practices.  Most members of upper management just want a bunch of "YES" men/woman, even though they make some STUPID decisions.  It, unfortunately, happens to MOST companies.


     


    If you don't breed good employment practices, and are not loyal to your employees, then your employees won't be loyal in return.


     


    it's hard because Apple users tend to LOVE their computers and don't want to switch because of it, but what's WORSE, is bad business decisions from attorneys and various people in upper management damage that experience.  We don't want the management of a product we love to be idiots.  We want and kind of expect them to be better than that.




    I guess Apple users want the company to have good business practices and to treat employees the way they should, with fairness, honesty, integrity and loyalty.  Treat employees, customers the way YOU want to be treated.  If Apple's Head council, Head of HR, and the rest of upper management can't practice the highest level of integrity with how they treat people, then they should resign.


     


    Good business practices breeds respect.  PERIOD.

  • Reply 50 of 84
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by David Salzberg View Post


    I do not know the law, and especially not California law.  But in my state (VA), unless you have a specific contract (promise to always having a job is not a contract; it does not mention compensation), you are an AT WILL employee, with some protections.  At Will means I can leave the company whenever I want, and the company can terminate me when they want (barring certain cases...religious, racial, sex discrimination; reserve duty; Family and medical leave act).  But, if my boss disappeared, the new boss would have the right to terminate me.  


     


    On the other hand, I can leave my company and work for someone else, as long as I do not take the trade secrets.



     


    Exactly.  Moreover, many/most companies have a specific policy that says verbal statements and the like shall not be considered contracts and have no enforceable meaning.  If would expect that Apple can show that clause in their policy library and have evidence that he was aware of it.  If Apple didn't do those things, they could be on the hook financially to some degree.


     


    I think it's very possible that SJ said "I'll take care of you" and meant it, but a) didn't formally do anything about it and/or b) wasn't legally obligating Apple to anything (because, as I said above, he might not be permitted to do so verbally).  In that case, sucks to be that guy, but I don't see how it's Apple's problem.  Apple probably has hundreds of openings, so the fact that they didn't just slot him into one says more about him than about Apple, in my opinion.

  • Reply 51 of 84
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post


    *Nobody* can expect job security.


    But Apple should make good on the stock deal.



    At bare minimum.  Personally, they could have treated this guy differently.  If they no longer wanted his services and it was hard to prove what he claims Steve told him, then they should have thought about why do they want to get rid of him if he has been with Apple for so long and been a part of Steve's keynote presentations.  Something isn't adding up.


     


    I don't know what the big deal is.  If they don't need his services helping with Presentations, etc., I'm sure there are other things within the company he could certainly do.  Unless they can justify in his mind why the termination, then they could have easily given him some time.


     


    It's tough to be told one day from the FOUNDER, CEO of the company that you will have a job with the company for life and they pass away, and then he finds himself in this position.  Personally, I don't think that he is lying.  And I don't see a valid reason to prevent him from obtaining his stock.


     


    I guess I would like a valid, understandable reason, why they did this in the first place rather than some insensitive corporate rhetoric.  Most people can't get over that, it causes a LOT of emotional damage and pain and suffering because of attorney's and others with no conscious.

  • Reply 52 of 84
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    I'm with drblank, in that it seems like most of the time a suit like this will have merit.  Other than pure greed why would an employee go to the extreme lengths of taking the former employer to court (an expensive and difficult process) unless they felt themselves to be on the side of right?  



     


    We have few details, but he doesn't appear to be alleging any discrimination.  So where would be "merit" of his case come from?  I expect it's entirely based on this perception that SJ made a legally enforceable agreement by saying he's take care of him.  The fact that he and his lawyer believe that is reason enough for them to sue, but it's a long way from winning the case or even being right.  As a manager, I've been involved in the termination of a small number of people over the years and almost always comes down to being convinced that the employee's performance is well below the standard we expect and can readily be replaced in the market.  Yeah, it sucks to have to do that, but it's the right and necessary thing to do.  If Apple didn't need a "presentation adviser/editor" and couldn't find another good fit for him, then he should have been let go--with appropriate compensation.


     


    If I had to bet, I would expect that this will settle quietly and he'll get a nice payoff for him and his lawyer.  Which answers the question of "why would anyone sue an employer"?  Because the vast majority of these cases never get to court and employers can be quick to write checks to make them go away as the cost of doing business.

  • Reply 53 of 84
    haarhaar Posts: 563member


    SOL ; LOL  ...ya while he was in good health... BTW tim cook is now the head honcho; SO if Tim Cook wants him around... he stays; otherwise he's SOL.


     


    Dead Men (the late Steve Jobs) can not talk...


     

    did steve jobs say "i'll take care of you".. or "i'll take care of it (meaning the lun ch bill)" LOL
  • Reply 54 of 84
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gustav View Post


    They fired him because his services were no longer needed. Yeah, it sucks, but I'm not sure it was lawsuit-worthy. Tim Cook is a different person, he doesn't want someone producing Jobs-style presentations for him. He wants someone who can produce Cook-style presentations.


     


    They should pay him out for the stock though. That might be lawsuit-worthy.



    I was thinking along the same lines.  But REALITY is that Apple is partly STEVE JOBS way of giving presentations and his authentic passion for Apple.  Tim has never been the best presenter in the world. Some people just give boring presentations, but getting rid of someone that could help TIm give better presentations is kind of silly and childish.


     


    Personally, I would LOVE to get advice from Steve's right hand man when it comes to presentations.  I've given presentations before and I know that it takes a while to get the knack for it.


     


    Tim hasn't done many presentations and he, from MY perspective, NEEDS WORK.  It's not that he is a bad person by not giving great Jobs style presentations, but Apple users want and kind of expect to have a presentation from someone that is truly enthusiastic and gives the style that we have grown accustomed to.  Some of the best parts of Steve's presentations were when he was just himself.  Even when he made a mistake.  It's part of being HUMAN.


     


    I think if Tim got to the point and understood he needs help in that area and he has someone that is actually willing to be there to help him, then he needs to drop his attitude and use this person. He can't get anyone better, if that is in fact the root of this issue.


     


    But, ultimately Cook has to LEARN how to give a presentation.


     


    Personally, I like Ives presentations.  He's got his own sense of style for it.


     


    I'm sure firing this guy doesn't solve anything and I'm sure he could have been treated a little better with more respect because of his long time relationship with Steve.




    It's too bad I am not involved with their little differences, because I am all about working through the issues and having people get to a mutually agreeable terms whether the guy stays or leaves.


     


    From my point of view, Cook does need help to get that Jobs passion.  Cook is great at managing certain aspects of the company, so I still give him high marks in some areas, some areas I think he needs some work.




    It is a shame stuff like this happens, but no one evolves when people getting treated like a pair of worn underwear.

  • Reply 55 of 84

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by drblank View Post


    I don't even want to make a comment.  But I will. I hope the right thing is done and that the person will eventually be able to move on.  I only know that most wrongful terminations have merit whether or not the court or jury sees it. Unless there is plenty of documentation to back up the employer, I will always be on the side of the employee.  I'm sure he is asking for he feels is REASONABLE under the circumstances because he has to go through the court process, which for individuals is even more stressful, plus taxes that have to be paid and attorney's fees.  Whatever they ask, they get less than half take home and they usually have a difficult time getting work in the mean time or as a result.


     


    I don't know why the people that file wrongful termination lawsuits are automatically treated poorly.   Usually, they have merit, that's all i am going to say.


     


    But, we'll see if more gets publicized. Unless there is sufficient evidence from Apple legal that it was a proper and just termination, I will aways be on the side of the victim.



    I doubt that Apple would let him go to deny him these stock options. My guess is that he was let go because he was no longer needed. However, this guy is likely justifiably upset. He had some restricted options that would have been worth a lot of money but are no longer good because he is no longer with Apple. This will probably be quickly settled out of court.

  • Reply 56 of 84
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by drblank View Post


    Personally, I like Ives presentations.  He's got his own sense of style for it.



     


    Do you mean his bits in the executive product videos? He has never been on stage.


     


    See, Steve knew exactly what he was doing when he stepped down. He knew exactly what he was doing when he brought NeXT people to Apple. He knew he was an exceptional person, and he knew that he'd never find a singular replacement for himself.


     


    So he grabbed the people he saw best sync with his vision and his mindset and trained them to be even more like him. And so we have the Apple leadership set forth today, each with their own forte.


     


    Cook: Operations. Getting things done efficiently, economically, and swiftly.


    Ive: Design. The spark that Steve had, whether it be the size of a chamfer, the material used, or the look and feel of the product as a whole.


    Forstall: Code. Plus insanity. If the articles are true, Steve saw in Scott the same mania that he had at early Apple.


    Schiller: Sales. This might've been Steve's hardest task, getting Phil to be able to sell products the way Steve did. There's no doubt that he's able to emulate Steve, but I don't think Phil has his own RDF just yet. And I can say that because I have one of my own and can actually tell these things. 


    Serlet: Code. Shame he left, though. My biggest concern with Apple's current leadership (aside from the idiot retail guy) is that they never put up a replacement OS X VP… 


     


    These people were hand picked and trained by Steve to not only do everything at which he was a master, but to do things he knew he never could nor cared to (specifically code). But Steve saw in them the same spark he had in his areas of expertise. 

  • Reply 57 of 84
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member


    Nothing worse than being a passionate Apple employee or customer and not treated with respect by the company they love.  One thing I have noticed over the years.  TRUE Apple enthusiasts are passionate.  Gotta have that.  


     


    I've seen good hires and bad hires at Apple, but the good hires are the ones that REALLY dig the products and want to improve what Apple is all about and to fix things that need to be fixed, improve things that need to be improved and to continue the Jobs passion.  Gotta have that.


     


    Obviously, he proved himself with Steve after having worked with him on those presentations.  Tim needs to get the passion and this guy is the guy, unless there is something else people are covering up.

  • Reply 58 of 84
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,618member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post




    No, actually, put yourself in his shoes. Think of your wife and your children. OK?


     


    He needs to get as much money out of Apple as he can. You'd do the same, don't lie.



    It depends.  If he was making an average salary and didn't yet have stock, I agree with you.   But if he's already a multi-millionaire and he has nothing in writing and no witnesses to Jobs' supposed promise to him, then he should move on.   If he's as skilled as implied, I'm sure another company would love to have him.


     


    The question is why doesn't Apple still want him?    They still do presentations at launches.     Is it that he was too close to Jobs?   Is he hard to work with?  


     


    Years ago, I was trying to convince my CEO to let me head a new department.  One late night, he told me we were going to go ahead.   The next day, he was fired.   I went to the new CEO and he told me that they weren't promoting anyone based on what a lame-duck CEO wanted to do (even though he didn't know he was lame-duck at the time.)    Nothing I could do.   I suppose I could have sued, but with no witnesses and nothing in writing, I think I would have gotten nowhere.    So I simply sucked it up and moved on.

  • Reply 59 of 84
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Do you mean his bits in the executive product videos? He has never been on stage.


     


    See, Steve knew exactly what he was doing when he stepped down. He knew exactly what he was doing when he brought NeXT people to Apple. He knew he was an exceptional person, and he knew that he'd never find a singular replacement for himself.


     


    So he grabbed the people he saw best sync with his vision and his mindset and trained them to be even more like him. And so we have the Apple leadership set forth today, each with their own forte.


     


    Cook: Operations. Getting things done efficiently, economically, and swiftly.


    Ive: Design. The spark that Steve had, whether it be the size of a chamfer, the material used, or the look and feel of the product as a whole.


    Forstall: Code. Plus insanity. If the articles are true, Steve saw in Scott the same mania that he had at early Apple.


    Schiller: Sales. This might've been Steve's hardest task, getting Phil to be able to sell products the way Steve did. There's no doubt that he's able to emulate Steve, but I don't think Phil has his own RDF just yet. And I can say that because I have one of my own and can actually tell these things. 


    Serlet: Code. Shame he left, though. My biggest concern with Apple's current leadership (aside from the idiot retail guy) is that they never put up a replacement OS X VP… 


     


    These people were hand picked and trained by Steve to not only do everything at which he was a master, but to do things he knew he never could nor cared to (specifically code). But Steve saw in them the same spark he had in his areas of expertise. 



    I think Ives has the passion for giving presentations based on how he presents himself in the videos.   He sometimes comes off a little intense, but i can tell he is passionate about his and his staff's contribution.  


     


    It's hard replacing Steve when it comes to presentations.


     


    Having been in the computer industry, it was fresh air listening to Steve.  He brought an honest sense of humor.


     


    I've seen presentations from most of the major computer hardware/software corporations and most of them were boring conservative people that were so uptight, it didn't get the audience enthused about the product.


     


    Tim came from a conservative background.  It kind of like teaching a ultra conservative person with no rhythm how to dance to a funk song. Maybe that's the problem.


     


    Either way, not giving this guy his stock and not giving him the opportunity to help Tim get his sense of style isn't right.  Not giving him the opportunity to work in other areas of Apple isn't right either. Unless they have some other legitimate reason, they should figure out a way to work things out without having to drag it through the court system.


     


    This guy is OBVIOUSLY a passionate Apple employee and nothing worse than firing one for something that couldn't be worked out to a mutually agreeable terms.

  • Reply 60 of 84
    ktappektappe Posts: 808member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gustav View Post


    They fired him because his services were no longer needed. 



     


    That seems very unlikely, considering that Tim Cook has been doing everything he possibly could to channel Steve Jobs during his two keynotes thus far, including keeping the same exact slide presentation style.

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