Apple, Google, and the Hubris of Silicon Valley’s Hiring Conspiracy

Steve Jobs wouldn’t appear to have been an emoticon guy, but history will show that on at least one occasion, when words failed to convey his delight, he resorted to one. It was March 2007, and Jobs had received an e-mail from Eric Schmidt, then Google’s (GOOG) chief executive officer and a board member at Apple (AAPL). Schmidt wanted to let Jobs know that Google would terminate “within the hour” a recruiter who’d dared to contact an Apple employee in violation of a “do not call” policy between the companies. Schmidt abjectly apologized, adding: “Should this ever happen again please let me know immediately and we will handle. Thanks!! Eric.”

Jobs forwarded Schmidt’s groveling e-mail to an Apple subordinate. His cover note said, in its entirety, “:)”.

This telling material—and there’s oh, so much more of it—comes from the voluminous court record in the recently settled Silicon Valley hiring antitrust case. On April 24, Apple, Google, Intel (INTC), and Adobe Systems (ADBE) ran up the white flag in a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 64,000 programmers and engineers who accused the companies of conspiring not to raid one another’s workforces in the interest of stifling competition and suppressing wages.

A great article from Businessweek. Read the rest here –


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