Startup Pure Storage Hired 44 Employees From EMC --  And EMC Is Suing

Scott Dietzen Pure StoragePure StorageScott Dietzen, CEO, Pure Storage

Pure Storage is
a rising star in the hot young enterprise flash storage market,so naturally it’s been hiring like crazy. And naturally a good many of them would come from the king of storage companies, EMC.

EMC hasn’t been taking that lightly. Over the past six month, it sued six former EMC employees who joined Pure Storage and on Monday, it broadened the suit to cover 44 former employees hired by Pure Storage, CEO Scott Dietzen said in a blog post on Tuesday.

EMC alleges that these employees were stealing EMC’s intellectual property and trade secrets. “Dozens of former EMC employees have joined Pure Storage and stolen tens of thousands of pages of proprietary, highly confidential and competitively sensitive EMC materials,” it said in a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, reports IDG News Service’s John Ribeiro.

Dietzen lashed back in his post, saying “there is no merit whatsoever” to the charges. He writes:

… mature companies risk forgetting the golden rule — they are happy to recruit great people to join their companies from competitors (indeed they aggressively solicit such hires), but then resort to onerous non-compete agreements and lawsuits to deter the same employees from exercising their freedom to seek employment elsewhere. At Pure we don’t put non-compete clauses in our employee agreements — we simply don’t believe in them.

Dietzen says this isn’t just a tactic to stop EMC employees from joining Pure Storage, but part of the bigger competition between the two.

Pure Storage makes enterprise storage system based on flash memory, the same kind of storage used in smartphones and thumb drives. Enterprises like it because it’s faster than traditional storage, a market that EMC dominates.

In June, EMC dove in to flash, buying an Israeli startup ScaleIO for a reported $US200-300 million just six months after it came out of stealth. Its product is expected to be announced next week, Dietzen says.
there is no merit whatsoever
here is no merit whatsoever
EMC is standing firm though.

“Pure Storage has waged a deliberate, unlawful and sustained campaign to steal EMC’s confidential and proprietary information. We are simply taking the necessary legal action to protect EMC’s rights,” an EMC spokesperson told us.

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