Steve Jobs Sent This Chilling 'Smiley Face' Email After He Got A Google Staffer Fired

The cache of emails between Apple and Google over their allegedly illegal agreement to not compete for each others’ employees is producing more gems.

This time, Pando has found an email exchange between Google chairman Eric Schmidt and Apple founder Steve Jobs about a Google recruiter who was caught trying to poach an Apple staffer.

The staffer was fired, and Jobs reacted by sending a “smiley face” in an email.

The background here is that competing companies ought to be competing for staff, and it’s against federal law to enter an anti-competitive agreement to refuse to hire each others’ staff. Google and Apple settled a federal investigation into this practice; the two companies are currently defending a class-action suit in a California federal court.

In this specific instance, a Google recruiter made the “mistake” of cold-calling an Apple engineer to see if the engineer could be tempted to come work at Google. Apple’s Jobs found out and sent Google’s Schmidt this email:


I would be very pleased if your recruiting department would stop doing this.



Schmidt asked his HR department what was going on, and one of his staffers responded that the Google recruiter would be fired “within the hour”:

On this specific case, the sourcer who contacted this Apple employee should not have and will be terminated within the hour. We are scrubbing the sourcer’s records to ensure she did not contact anyone else.

Here is Jobs’ reaction when he heard the recruiter had been fired:

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