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Judge Halts Salesforce Hire of Microsoft Employee

A Washington superior court judge enforced a temporary restraining order that prevents a former Microsoft employee from being hired for an executive sales position at Salesforce.com today.

As reported by a TechFlash article, Matt Miszewski can't take a job that was originally described as "as senior vice president for the global public sector" at Salesforce.com. Miszewski's attorney argued that his client's work would actually be restricted to the U.S. market, but Judge Kimberly Prochnau rejected employment on that basis too, indicating that it would still compromise the non-compete contract that Miszewski signed with Microsoft. The judge said that Miszewski can still work at Salesforce.com if the work isn't competitive with his former position at Microsoft, according to the article. 

Under the terms of Miszewski's contract, as described by Microsoft, Miszewski is prohibited from working with a competitor for one year's time after leaving Microsoft. Miszewski, who served as Microsoft's general manager of worldwide government, quit the company in December to work for California-based Salesforce.com.

The court hearings are happening in the King County Superior Court in Washington because Miszewski's contract with Microsoft specifies that venue. It's thought that California courts would be less receptive to enforcing such non-compete clauses in employment contracts.

Microsoft's lawyers have claimed that Miszewski knows Microsoft trade secrets and could cause "irreparable harm" to the company. They also claim that Miszewski stole 600 MB worth of documents when he left Microsoft.

Microsoft and Salesforce.com are competitors in the hosted customer relationship management software market.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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