Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs emailed Google to ask the firm to stop trying to recruit its staff, according to court documents made public in an investigation into the hiring policies in place at several major technology companies.
In the court document it is revealed that Jobs emailed former Google CEO Eric Schmidt to tell him about the incident on 7 March, 2007.
“I would be very pleased if your recruiting department would stop doing this,” he wrote.
Schmidt then, according to the filing, did as was asked.
“I believe we have a policy of no recruiting from Apple and this is a direct inbound request. Can you get this stopped and let me know why this is happening?” he wrote in an email to undisclosed recipients.
Schmidt was then informed by the Google staffing director Arnon Geshuri that the employee responsible for trying to employ the Apple individual would have his contract “terminated within the hour.”
“This was an isolated incident and we will be very careful to make sure this does not happen again,” they added.
Shona Brown, Google’s senior business operations vice president, thanked the staffing director for his action and told him to use the incident as a warning to other staff.
“Appropriate response, thank you. Please make a public example of this termination with the group,” said Brown.
The document is part of a lawsuit that alleges that Apple, Intel and Google had an agreement to not poach each other’s employees – despite high-level acknowledgement that such action was “likely illegal”.
Meanwhile Intel chief executive, Paul Otellini, referred to Intel’s employment policy with Google as an “unofficial no poaching policy.”
The lawsuit has been brought on by employees against seven companies including Apple, Google, Intel and Walt Disney’s Pixar unit Lucasfilm.
“The explicit purpose of the agreement was to eliminate competition for talent, suppress employee compensation, and lower wages,” said the court document, discussing the employment agreements.
Neither Google nor Apple would comment on this story. Intel said it would defend the challenge.
“Intel disagrees with the allegations contained in the private litigation related to recruiting practices and plans to conduct a vigorous defense,” it said
In 2010, a number of companies including Apple, Intel and Google, agreed to a settlement with the U.S. government that restricted them from creating such anti-competitive employment agreements in the future.
This article was originally published on V3.