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Friday, January 27, 2012, 03:56 pm PT (06:56 pm ET)

Steve Jobs asked Google to stop poaching Apple workers

As part of a civil suit involving the employment practices of seven major tech firms, a court filing was unveiled on Friday that includes an email which late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs personally sent to former Google chief Eric Schmidt requesting an end to worker poaching.

The March, 2007 email specifically asked Google to put a stop to its active recruitment of an unnamed Apple engineer, and alluded to halting worker poaching in general, reports Reuters.

"I would be very pleased if your recruiting department would stop doing this," Jobs wrote in his email to Schmidt, who was on Apple's board of directors at the time.

Schmidt took immediate action and forwarded the correspondence to certain undisclosed members of Google's staff, including a staffing director who responded that the employee responsible for the recruitment "will be terminated within the hour."

The unnamed staffing manager also asked that his apologies be conveyed to Jobs.

The suit responsible for bringing the email to light is civil litigation stemming from a Justice Department probe that investigated the anti-poaching practices of Google, Apple, Adobe Systems, Intel, Intuit Inc. and Pixar. In 2009, it was revealed that Apple and Google reportedly created an unofficial agreement to not poach each others workers, resulting in the antitrust investigation.

All six companies involved settled with the Justice Department in 2010, agreeing to a five year moratorium on "no solicitation agreements."

Jobs and Schmidt

Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt during the iPhone's introduction at MacWorld in 2007


This week's court hearing brings civil suit claims from five software engineers who accuse the companies of colluding to keep employee salaries low by quashing labor competition. The case will continue, however it may be split into separate class action lawsuits.