Amazon Sues Ex-AWS Manager for Jump to Google

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In a case technology employers are sure to follow closely, Amazon has sued former Amazon Web Services Strategic Partnership Manager Zoltan Szabadi for breaking the non-compete agreement he signed when he first joined the company. Szabadi now works at the rival Google Cloud Platform.

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The lawsuit is seen as a test of the employment agreements tech companies usually require to protect themselves when an employee departs. Amazon filed the suit in Seattle, since Washington State has been more inclined to enforce such agreements. In Google’s home state of California, VentureBeat notes, non-competes have generally been found to be unenforceable.

Amazon says Szabadi was “directly and integrally involved” with marketing AWS partners and resellers, played a significant role in developing business strategy and was a first point of contact for many potential partners.

It’s not the first time Amazon’s gone after an AWS executive who’s moved to Google. Last year, the company sued former AWS Vice President Daniel Powers after Google hired him as Director of Global Cloud Platform Sales. Amazon sued Powers for breach of contract, but Google largely prevailed because it shifted some of his duties. In ruling on the case, the U.S. District Court said Powers could not be involved in providing cloud services to any current, former or prospective Amazon customers “about whom he learned confidential information” while working there. In effect, Google beat Amazon to the punch by structuring Powers’ position so that it wouldn’t violate his non-compete.

It’s not yet clear whether a parallel can be drawn in the Szabadi case, though VentureBeat says Amazon seems to have adjusted its approach this time, “testing the legal limits of non-compete agreements.” In this instance, Amazon wants to specifically prevent Szabadi, “from engaging in any activities that directly or indirectly support any aspect of Google’s cloud computing business with partners or resellers.”

Google is said to be planning “a strong defense” for the lawsuit, according to CNET.

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Image: Evlakhov Valeriy/Shutterstock.com

Comments

  1. BY John Doe unemployed americann citizen says:

    So does this mean that we under employed american citizens can sue both these low life companies for breach of non-employment for the the fact that they have gone and decided that most american citizens who have college degrees in a scientific field aren’t employeable because we want to live better than our third world counterparts. Or better yet can we ask the governement to sue for non payment of taxes due tot he corporate welfare system that allows both to keep litterally billions off shore to pretty much do as they please. I say the courts in the country where they have been hiding should get clogged up and all patents for all the tech companies VOIDED as they obviously don’t want to be here so why should this countries over burdened court system be clogged up with this garbage? IMO….;)

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