Cloud’s impact on the technology job sector has resulted in demand for employees who possess a special skill set or inside knowledge on a specific product that may be in development. Because of this, companies such as Amazon have required that their cloud engineers agree to a non-compete clause within the guidelines of their employment. If the employee were to ever leave Amazon, he or she would be unable to directly work for a competitor such as Google. Legal analysts mention that Amazon’s non-compete clause can bar individuals from taking on another cloud job for up to 6 to 18 months after a departure from the company.
Zoltan Szabadi is at the center of this controversy. Mr. Szabadi, a former employee in Amazon’s Strategic Alliances Emerging Partners unit, is reported to have taken a similar role in Google’s cloud division several weeks ago. His duties are essentially the same as they were at Amazon, which ultimately could cause a conflict of interest if Szabadi were to approach contacts he made at Amazon while working at Google.
In the court documents, GeekWire reports that “Google on its own required Szabadi to agree not to solicit business from customers that he worked with at Amazon for six months after joining Google. He also agreed not to recruit employees from Amazon for the same time period.” GW also mentions a specific injunction that Amazon is seeking from the courts. If granted, this injunction would prevent Szabadi from engaging in any activities that directly or indirectly support any aspect of Google’s cloud computing business with partners or resellers.
This lawsuit, which was discovered online by Venkat Balasubramani, is posted online at Scribd. Many cloud enthusiasts are awaiting the outcome of this lawsuit as it is expected to test the limits of the laws governing non-compete contracts and corporate trade secrets.