Court rules new HP executive vice president is officially AWOL from EMC

This week Boston technology attorney Lee Gesmer blogged in his Mass Law Blog: What Happens When California and Massachusetts Law on the Enforceability of Non-Compete Agreements Clash in Massachusetts Superior Court? Read on... According to Gesmer, "California’s legislative policy against non-compete agreements does not trump Massachusetts common law, at least under the facts of this case." Last week, after being paid $17.2 million over the last 3 years of his employment as President of the EMC Storage Division, David Donatelli sued his former employer EMC in California state court seeking to void his non-compete agreement so that he could become the new Executive Vice President of HP's Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking division. Naturally, after Donatelli filed his California lawsuit, EMC countersued in Massachusetts state court seeking to have Donatelli's non-compete agreement enforced. The result? Donatelli lost even though he hired famed Boston employment lawyer superstar Jay Shepherd to represent him in front of Judge Stephen Neel of the Massachusetts Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston. Gesmer also noted in his blog, "The agreement recited that it had been signed UNDER SEAL, magic words that favor enforceability in Massachusetts." An HP spokesperson responded to yours truly with regard to EMC's court victory, "We are disappointed that the Massachusetts court saw fit to delay Mr. Donatelli’s employment with HP. However, the court’s order is preliminary, and we are confident that Mr. Donatelli will be permitted to join HP in a leadership role once a full hearing of the issues is held. We are similarly disappointed by the lengths to which EMC has gone to impede Mr. Donatelli’s efforts to seek other employment." Simultaneously, EMC continued to remain very tight-lipped and this was the most that I was able to pry loose from an EMC spokesperson, "EMC is aware of the court's decision."

The 15 page court decision is a fascinating document to read and I highly recommend it. Interestingly, on May 13, 2002, Donatelli signed an EMC Key Employee Agreement which states:

"For the twelve month period following the effective date of your termination, for any reason, from the Company, you agree not to directly or indirectly compete with the Company...[including] (i) the provision of any services...as an employee...to any entity that is developing, producing, marketing, soliciting or selling products or services competitive with product or services being developed, produced, marketed or sold by the Company as of the affective day of your termination."

View the entire 15 page EMC vs. Donatelli Decision below:

Related stories: Judge calls bluff made by HP's new networking boss! New HP Networking boss took $17.2M from EMC, but sues to void his non-compete agreement


What's your take, is Donatelli AWOL from EMC or just a simple no show at HP? BradReese.Com Cisco Refurbished - Services that protect, maintain and optimize Cisco hardware Contact: Brad Reese | Twitter: http://twitter.com/BradReese

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