Judge Says Former Microsoft Exec Can't Work for Salesforce, For Now
Microsoft has won the first round in a fight to prevent one of its former executives from going to work for Salesforce.com. A judge in King County, Washington, has ruled that Matt Miszewski, once General Manager for Worldwide Government at Microsoft can’t take a job as senior vice president for its Global Public Sector at Salesforce because doing so would violate a non-compete agreement he signed. Judge Kimberly Prochnau, extended a temporary restraining order preventing him from starting the new job. The ruling was first reported by TechFlash.
Miszewski’s lawyers formally answered accusations by Microsoft that he had taken hundreds of megabytes worth of confidential business files. In a filing they argued that Miszewski wouldn’t find any such information useful in the new job in the first place. “Rather I will rely on my managerial expertise, along with the knowledge of government information technology needs and priorities that I gained before joining Microsoft.” Prior to working at Microsoft, Miszewski was the CIO for the state of Wisconsin. He also said that any competitive information he may have in his possession wouldn’t be useful to Salesforce in the first place.
Microsoft Dynamics Online competes directly with Salesforce.com in the cloud-based customer relationship management business, and two companies have a bit of a bitter history in court. They grappled in federal court last year over patents, but settled. He’d probably have better luck if he lived in California, where non-compete agreements have generally been found by courts to be unenforceable. Not so in Washington State. Meanwhile Miszewski seems to have found something to do until the case is resolved. His LinkedIn profile lists him as founder at FixingPotholes.com where he’s blogging about transparency, open government, and government IT.