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Published on agosto 8th, 2009 | by admin


Google’s anti-poaching smoking Gun.

google_apple_logoBack in June, before the ties that bound the two companies unraveled and Google’s (GOOG) Eric Schmidt resigned from Apple’s (AAPL) board of directors, the New York Times reported that the U.S. Department of Justice had begun an antitrust investigation into the two companies’ hiring practices.

The issue was whether Apple and Google had made an anti-poaching deal — an agreement not to go fishing each others’ talent pool — that could be considered a collusive restraint on trade.

The Times had obtained an e-mail from a Google recruiter that was very suggestive. It asked one job candidate to reach out to another potential candidate.

“It is a bit touchy since he works for Apple,” the recruiter wrote, adding that Google had “a nonsolicit agreement with them.”

But the authenticity of the e-mail could not be verified and the recruiter, who has since left Google, said she didn’t recall sending it.

Now we have what looks like a smoking gun.

It comes from TechCrunch’s MG Siegler, who published an item Friday speculating that any deal they had may be off now that Schmidt has left the board.

After Siegler posted the piece, a source forwarded him the following e-mail, which Siegler has stripped of identifying details:

From: XXXXX XXXXX <XXXXX@google.com>
Subject: Re: Google Opportunities- Follow up email…

Thanks for getting back to me.  I don’t believe that we have been in
contact previously – apologies if I am wrong about this.

From your reference to the [APPLE DIVISION], I take it that you are
currently working there.  If this is the case, we will not be able to
proceed with your application.  Google has an agreement with Apple
that we will not cold call their staff.  If you are not currently
working at Apple and are interested in learning more about [A GOOGLE DIVISION]
please let me know and I would be happy to chat with you.

Thank you again for returning my email.

The e-mail not only states explicitly that Apple and Google had such an arrangement, but it spells out the rules: an Apple employee could call Google looking for employment, but Google couldn’t initiate the call.

According to Gary Reback, a lawyer who helped persuade the Justice Department to pursue its 1998 antitrust case against Microsoft (MSFT), companies are generally free to choose not to recruit from their business partners. But a written agreement between two firms to steer clear of each others’ employees could raise questions.

“It is not the off-limits part that I suspect they are looking into,” Mr. Reback told the Times back in June. “I suspect they think there is a quid pro quo of some kind. Antitrust counselors would advise clients not to do this kind of thing.”

See also:

I find this story indicative of the way both Google and Apple have become bloated corporate leviathans.

Both these companies grew and prospered because people who wanted to do new and radical things with new, unknown firms used their energy and ideas to make these new things happen.

And now they are so imbued with the “corporate culture” that they have to poach staff from one another, because their HR “experts” have decided to drink the corporate kool aid. Ergo, if you don’t already work for a massive corporation, you are not good enough to work for a massive corporation.

So they end up hiring the kind of people who “fit in” inside large corporations: Yes men and grey men, people who are too frightened to speak their minds and too dull to irritate the ego maniacs who run the corporations.

This seems to be the standard pattern for corporations: start new and radical and vibrant, and then turn dull and bloated and full of HR experts who would be right at home as members of a political party.

Google have become a nasty parody of themselves, in this respect. They enforce the culture of individualism with an iron fist. If you don’t believe in the individualism of Google employees, you can GET OUT.

I figure it is only a matter of time, with Apple, before they go the same way as microsoft and google: bloated and stultified with insipid university graduates who are expert at getting jobs with large corporations, but who know and care nothing about solving problems in the marketplace.

Bring on the new and radical companies full of creative people who don’t care if they belong to small firm that takes risks. That is where the tomorrows value in the market will come from. Just like it did yesterday.

Posted By cynik:

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About the Author

Creador de #Squoosh, Visual-Agency , dedicada a acompañar a sus Clientes en distintos Proyectos Digitales , Consultor Internacional, Technical Evangelist Adobe Systems /. Consultor para Adobe , Macromedia y Apple . Premiado a nivel Nacional e Internacional. Premio al “Mejor Consultor de Latinoamerica” Adobe Systems . Mejor Speaker Argentino . 4to puesto en el Ranking Mundial al “Mejor Orador Hispano Parlante” . Mejor Consultor Senior de la Region. En La actualidad estoy muy Enfocado en Generar Canales de Contenidos Visuales y guianes para Grandes Empresas, Proveedores y Clientes Finales. Mail gabymenta@gmail.com

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