20 October 2005
Motorola has filed a lawsuit against new Nortel Networks chief executive officer Mike Zafirovski in an attempt to stop him joining the company.
An announcement was made earlier this week that Zafirovski, president and chief operating officer of Motorola before leaving the company in February, would be taking over from Nortel’s Bill Owens on 15 November.
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However, Motorola has filed a lawsuit claiming its former president and chief operating officer has “breached various agreements” and that if he joined Nortel it would result in the “use or disclosure of Motorola trade secrets”.
This is the latest legal action brought by an IT company to stop staff, or in this case former staff, joining a rival.
Microsoft is in the middle of action against Google for hiring a senior research and development head, and interactive voice specialist Nuance is suing Yahoo for hiring 13 of its engineers.
Motorola is attempting to stop Zafirovski from joining Nortel for two years and is seeking to prevent him from hiring Motorola employees and disclosing confidential Motorola information.
Nortel is not named as a defendant in the action, but the injunctive relief requested is against Zafirovski and his employers, among others, said Nortel.
The company said, “Nortel and Zafirovski are currently reviewing the lawsuit and intend to pursue discussions with Motorola with a view to resolving the dispute over his appointment.”