Motorola is suing former executive Mike Fenger, FierceWireless reports, in a claim that he’s violating a two-year non-compete agreement by joining Apple and becoming the head of global iPhone sales—along with recruiting two other former Motorola employees in the process.
The report said that Motorola filed the suit against Fenger, who quit in March as senior VP of mobile devices for Europe, Middle East and Africa. In an interesting twist, the suit not only alleges a breach of contract but also claims Fenger used Motorola trade secrets—without giving any specifics. “It’s not that he stole any documents, but the information in his head seems to be enough to violate Motorola’s trade secrets,” the report said. Here’s how the lawsuit explains it: “In his new position…he cannot perform his duties for Apple without inevitably disclosing Motorola’s trade secrets.”
These non-competes puzzle us. Stealing trade secrets is one thing—that makes perfect sense. But the way they’re being enforced lately means that essentially, you can’t get another job in your field—the one you’ve built up years of experience in—at all. We assume Motorola expects this executive to go flip burgers somewhere for two years instead of finding another wireless industry job.