Many of us vaguely read that line near the end of our contract when we start a new job about not being able to work for a competing company for a certain time period when we eventually terminate our employment.
Many companies fear that their ex-employee will reveal all their secrets or simply jump ship for better pay.
It has been revealed that Microsoft’s former Window’s chief, Steve Sinofsky, who was ejected from the company last November, has a strict clause in his contract forbidding him from joining rival groups.
Sinofsky is forbidden to join rivals including Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Oracle, EMC or VMWare before 2014. This is perfectly understandable considering what he brought to the company.
He led the Microsoft team in successfully shipping Windows 7 after the heavily criticized Windows Vista OS. This contributed to Microsoft’s record-breaking revenue earnings in 2010. He was also fundamental in the development of Windows 8 and the Microsoft tablet, Surface.
It is only fair, then, that his deal also included a $10m payout to cushion the blow. According to The Guardian, he will receive roughly £6.6m, including 418,000 share options that were due to vest through to mid-2016.
Under the agreement, Sinofsky has also been banned from trying to persuade numerous companies, including IBM, Dell, Intel and Nokia from terminating custom with Microsoft.
So for that $10m, Microsoft wants Sinofsky to play fair. At least with a payoff that large, he shouldn’t have to worry about finding a job too soon.