Apple shreds bio of recent IBM hire amid proceedings

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Apple has taken down its bio for Mark Papermaster, the senior vice president of "Devices Hardware Engineering" that the company hired from IBM, signaling new uncertainty surrounding the position.

After being recruited by Apple, Papermaster was sued by IBM, his previous employer, under allegations that was violating a non-compete clause in his employment contract. IBM maintains that Papermaster is taking proprietary knowledge to Apple in order to develop directly competing technologies for a competitor. Papermaster says that his position at Apple does not compete with IBM's products.

Papermaster filed court papers that noted, "Until this litigation effort by IBM, aside from the divested IBM personal computer business and a single sale several years ago of Apple’s Xserve product to a university, I do not recall a single instance of Apple being described as a competitor of IBM during my entire tenure at IBM."

Apple's recent acquisition of PA Semi, a fabless chip design firm that had been working on PowerPC processors but which is now tasked with developing embedded chips for Apple's iPod and iPhone, resulted in some speculation about whether Papermaster might bring IBM's internal silicon expertise to Apple. In his most recent position, Papermaster was managing IBM's blade server division, which does not use IBM's Power architecture CPUs.

Last Friday, the court granted IBM a preliminary injunction to stop Papermaster from performing work for Apple just days after he reported to the company; a hearing on the matter is scheduled for next week. Until then, Apple's bio describing Papermaster as the company's senior vice president of Devices Hardware Engineering has been pulled. A copy is still visible from Google's cache, CNet News pointed out.

The yanked bio said Papermaster "leads the iPod and iPhone engineering teams, and reports directly to Apple's CEO." It also noted that Papermaster "has 25 years of product and technology experience, and was previously a vice president at IBM responsible for blade development including x86, POWER, storage blades, chassis, network electronics and associated ecosystem. He started his career in application-specific IC development circuit design at IBM’s Microelectronics Division, and had technical and management assignments in quality, CAD tool applications, and microprocessors."