Amazon is Suing Former Vice President of Cloud Marketing
Amazon is suing Brian Hall, a former vice president of cloud marketing for Amazon Web Services, alleging that he violated the terms of a non-compete agreement by taking a job at Google Cloud, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Amazon filed the lawsuit on May 18, seeking to enforce the non-compete agreement that required Hall not to work for a competitor for at least 18 months after leaving Amazon. The company claims that Hall had access to confidential information that he could give to Google. Hall has since denied allegations claiming that Amazon insinuated it would not enforce the agreement. He has asked the court to declare the contract "unenforceable" on the ground that the job "will not require him to use or disclose any Amazon confidential information." He also alleges AWS enforces its noncompete agreements inconsistently.
Hall's former boss at Amazon, Ariel Kelman, left the company earlier this year to join competitor Oracle. Amazon did not file a lawsuit against Kelman. Hall claims that Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy wished him "nothing but the best" after he informed him that he was taking a job at Google.
Filing lawsuits to prevent former employees from joining competitors is not unheard of at Amazon. Last year, the company sued Philip Moyer, a former sales executive who took a Job at Google Cloud as Vice President. Amazon claims that Moyer violated a non-compete agreement and put the company's confidential information at risk. A federal judge ruled against Moyer and limited his role at Google for the duration of the noncompete agreement.
Amazon sued former vice president, Gene Farrel, in 2017 after he left to take a job at a small collaboration software company. The company dropped the suit a week later after the companies agreed on undisclosed temporary restrictions.
Amazon has a major presence, but their obsessive hold over employees looking for better opportunities is threatening their reputation.