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Cath Everett

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Ex employee held to ‘non-compete’ agreement by judge

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A judge has barred the former government team head of Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM business from taking on a similar role at Salesforce.com but said that he could do something else instead.

 
Washington’s King County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Prochnau extended a temporary restraining order preventing Matt Miszewski from looking after Salesforce’s US-based government accounts as he said to do so would be in “direct violation of his non-compete agreement” with his former employer.
 
Miszewski only started working at Salesforce in January this year as senior vice president of its global public sector business, after resigning from Microsoft at the end of 2010, but was banned from that too.
 
After Microsoft filed suit against him, claiming that the role breached a non-compete contract he had signed in 2007, Salesforce moved Miszewski to the US-focused role, but to no avail. The Judge rejected the defendant’s argument that geographical arguments should be brought into play.
 
“While the US was not his primary responsibility, he did certainly have responsibility for strategy with regard to marketing to US customers. Salesforce is very clearly a competitor of Microsoft in terms of cloud-based computing, the next big thing,” Judge Prochnau said.
 
He added that, while Miszewski could take up another role within Salesforce, it could not be one that was similar to his former role at Microsoft.

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