EMC has filed a lawsuit against a former US-based employee after accusing him of defecting to flash storage rival Pure Storage and illegally taking over confidential information.
According to a local press report, EMC alleges in documents filed to the US District Court of Massachusetts that former partner sales boss Chadwick Johnson violated a Key Employee Agreement (KEA) which bound him to return private information and competitively sensitive property on his departure from the firm.
EMC claimed in the legal document that before Johnson left the firm's Austin, Texas branch at the end of September, he secretly accessed EMC files - including a 93,000-entry file of customer details, selling guides and business-plan templates - from two external storage devices that he failed to return when he left the firm for rival Pure Storage.
The storage startup only burst onto the scene earlier this year, but its bullish chief executive Scott Dietzen made no bones about aiming for the top and having EMC firmly in his sights. He told CRN in March that he has turned down numerous offers to sell the company and that he fires up his sales staff by encouraging them to encroach on EMC's territory.
In the court filing, EMC said Johnson is not the first of its staff to defect to its rival.
"The action is part of a larger drama unfolding between EMC and various of its former employees, each of whom have resigned from EMC to join direct competitor Pure Storage and each of whom have wrongfully taken confidential and competitively sensitive EMC materials with them upon joining Pure Storage," the filing reads.
"Most recently, EMC filed a suit in this court against Johnson's Texas-based former EMC colleague, Ricky Cochran, after Cochran was found to have violated his obligations to EMC by, among other things, misappropriating sensitive EMC materials upon accepting employment with Pure Storage."
In the UK, legal experts have urged the channel to take non-competition clauses in employment contracts seriously after last week a recruiter blasted Phoenix Software for including them in its staff contracts.
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