The revelation that Apple’s Steve Jobs directly asked former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt to stop trying to recruit an Apple engineer has shed light on what some are saying the dirty underbelly of the tech world. That underbelly is the anti poaching agreements that tech companies use to keep the top talent at home, stifle competition and put the interest of the business ahead of their employees.
The anti poaching issue was tackled couple of years ago when the US Department of Justice dissolved those sorts of agreements. However, the email between Jobs and Schmidt, revealed as part of a civil lawsuit, has again reignited the issue.
The fact is that these sorts of “gentlemen agreements” which prevent the companies from poaching their competitions best talent have been around for a long time. Apple, Google, and the other companies (Adobe, Pixar, Lucasfilm) named in the lawsuit have all denied that there was no grand conspiracy here and the latest lawsuit again highlight just how competitive the talent game is in the tech sector.