An article in today’s Guardian mentioned some details of a deal between Microsoft and former Windows chief Steven Sinofsky. The jist of the deal is that Sinofsky, in exchange for a payout from Microsoft, will not seek employment at Apple, Google, Facebook or Amazon until post-2014.
That’s certainly understandable. Although I think that technology is moving quickly enough that a 6-month hiatus from one of Tech’s Big 5 would clear out any useful info, Sinofsky was a senior exec and a one-time confidante of Bill Gates. So the extended period makes sense.
It’s the second part of the agreement that makes me sad. The agreement includes a “mutual non-disparagement clause” which prevents Sinofsky from being publicly critical of Microsoft. (One can presume that Microsoft would be perfectly comfortable with public praise.)