Microsoft is considering legal action to stop former ad chief Carolyn Everson from starting work at Facebook, according to a report by Kara Swisher at AllThingsD. Microsoft CE
O Steve Ballmer is said to have taken personal offence because Facebook didn’t call him before making the move.
Everson joined Microsoft from MTV in May 2010 and lasted at the company less than 10 months before leaving to take the top ad sales position at Facebook in February. Now, Microsoft is considering siccing Everson with the same kind of restraining order that it unleashed on Matt Mizsewski, who left Microsoft for Salesforce.com earlier this year.
Everson was reportedly taking on a pretty big role at the company, including organising its 2011 summit for advertisers later this month.
But full legal war between the companies is a long shot: Microsoft owns 1.6% of the company after a 2007 investment, and has been incorporating Facebook information into Bing search results. A fight would hamper the companies’ mutual goal of putting the hurt on Google.
The companies will reach some sort of settlement that prevents Everson from using competitive knowledge she gained from her brief time at Microsoft. She might also be prohibited from calling on certain customers.