Yesterday Microsoft announced the hiring of Lindsay-Rae McIntyre as their next chief diversity officer. Noted by GeekWire, this has apparently upset IBM, where McIntyre previously served as Chief Diversity Officer. IBM is now suing Microsoft over the hiring, citing the fact that the new position at Microsoft violates a year-long non-compete agreement.
The lawsuit was filed yesterday morning, right after Microsoft’s initial announcement. IBM holds that McIntyre has “knowledge of IBM’s most closely guarded and competitively sensitive strategic plans and recruitment initiatives.” IBM also notes it is “inevitable” for McIntyre to use IBM’s secrets at Microsoft because she has knowledge of “confidential strategies to recruit, retain and promote diverse talent.”
McIntyre’s lawyers apparently are arguing that IBM’s order is “draconian.” Attorneys in the case filing noted,” IBM surprisingly seeks a draconian temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to prevent McIntyre from working — for an entire year, in any position, anywhere in the world, for any company IBM deems to be a ‘competitor’ in any dimension.”
IBM’s complaint also cited a previous case where Microsoft was sued for alleged gender discrimination. A court hearing is set for February 22nd, and a judge has temporarily banned McIntyre from working at Microsoft in the meantime.