Amazon Web Services has filed a lawsuit against a former vice president for allegedly violating a non-compete clause by going to work for Google.

Chris Talbot

October 30, 2012

2 Min Read
Amazon Sues Former Cloud Sales VP over Google Jump

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Web Services is taking action in the courts against its former vice president of Worldwide Sales and Business Development for its Cloud Business, for allegedly violating a non-compete clause included in his severance package.

Daniel Powers left AWS in July 2012 and moved on to a new position with major competitor Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) — a move that, according to a lawsuit filed by AWS, violates a non-compete clause in his $325,000 severance package that states he can't work for a competitor for 18 months after leaving the cloud giant.

Powers' tenure at AWS was fairly short. According to this LinkedIn profile, Powers joined AWS in December 2010 after spending much of the previous decade working in various senior positions at IBM, including as Big Blue's North American vice president of Cloud Computing Sales.

The lawsuit, filed Oct. 26 in King County Superior Court, claims that Amazon offered Powers a severance package in exchange for his resignation, in lieu of termination. Additionally, the suit notes that Powers went to work for Google sometime around Sept. 24–a far cry from the 18-month non-compete time allegedly included in the severance agreement.

The two cloud titans have been fighting over market share and trying to one-up each other with their technologies for some time, and now it seems they're fighting over key executives.

Powers is currently holding the position of Cloud Platform Sales at Google. If the non-compete clause is indeed included in his severance package, I'm not sure what explanation Powers could have for accepting the position, apart from the Evil Twin excuse.

What's going to happen going forward? Granted, it's an unknown in the cloud space, and no crystal ball is going to give us the answers. Instead, we'll have to wait and see what Powers' response is and what happens with this lawsuit.

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