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IBM settles legal dispute with Microsoft's new diversity chief

After suing to enforce a non-compete agreement, IBM has settled its dispute with Microsoft's new diversity chief, Lindsay-Rae McIntyre. As reported by Axios, McIntyre will now begin her new role at Microsoft in July.

The resolution comes just a few weeks after the dispute began, following Microsoft's announcement that McIntyre, a former HR leader at IBM, had been hired is its next chief diversity officer (CDO). Not long after the announcement, IBM sued to stop McIntyre's move, claiming that she was in violation of a non-compete agreement.

Specifically, IBM argued that McIntyre was one of its "most senior executives with knowledge of IBM's most closely guarded and competitively sensitive strategic plans and recruitment initiatives." The suit further claimed that it would be "inevitable" that McIntyre would use confidential recruiting strategies to go after similar talent for Microsoft.

In statements to Axios, IBM said it "pleased" by the resolution. From IBM:

We're pleased the court granted IBM's motion for a temporary restraining order, protecting IBM's confidential information and diversity strategies. We're glad the action has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties and that Ms. McIntyre will not begin her new responsibilities until July.

Microsoft said it is "thrilled" that McIntyre will be taking up her role as CDO starting in July.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

10 Comments
  • Non compete clause are done, all you are doing is delaying the inevitable.
  • No idea why diversity hiring is something that needs to be kept secret.  You would think that those ideas would be better to be shared anyway.  It isn't something the company can sell or make a profit off of.
  • Diversity chief.. the world has become a complete joke. Competency should be the sole measure of hiring.
  • only if you're a minority
  • Racism made it so that being white gave you benefits in the labor market despite of you're qualifications. I'm not saying that a competent white person should lose a job opportunity to a incompetent minority person. But if both are competent for the job, then being a minority can be a feature, as the world is a diverse place, having a diverse staff is a good thing for a company. Prioritizing that is just a good business decision. We white people should stop being so offended by diversity policies. Our white privelige has helped us achieve more with less for centuries.
    A company doesn't need more white people, they have plenty of those on staff. Competent minority employees are a good addition to the employee pool, just plain and simple!
  • Agreed. And I'll add systemic racism is why we end up implementing things like affirmative action.
  • While I fully support your right to direct your business to companies with policies you support, I strongly disagree with your conclusion on this. As soon as companies consider race in any way, whether to preferentially hire whites, blacks, or anyone else, that is institutionalizing racism. It engenders animosity, as seen from some of the posts here by people claiming they were passed over for less qualified people of other races. It leads some to take people in senior positions less seriously, even if they are there purely on merit, because they wonder if the promotion was due, at least in part, to race. These are all the things that keep racism alive in the US and at this point in our history do far more harm than good and discourage integration. When states had laws forbidding blacks from going places or doing things that were legal for whites, that was horrible and steps to correct that back in the 1960's made good sense. Martin Luther King Jr. fought this and at the same time had the wisdom to ask that we ignore race and look at a person's character. Since then, we've gone way, way, way too far in the other direction and in effect come full circle where once again major institutions (more schools and business now) foster racism and create racial animosity. I think if Rev. King were still alive, as his family members often report, he would be appalled at the acceptance of racism like company diversity programs. "White privilege" is just a term created to foster intollerance and racism. The best way to end racism is to be color blind and ignore race. Same with gender, sexual orientation, and everything else that creates an "identity" special interest and people who profit from fostering outrage against others based purely on their different race, religios, gender, or sexual orientation.
  • Dude white pleasers don't exist. 
  • Exactly!  As a former Microsoft employee, "diversity" basically meant "not white male."  I was told by multiple managers that I was passed over for promotions and positions specifically because I was a white male, even though they wanted me.  I was also told by a female former manager that if I was a minority or a woman, I'd have easily been a GM or possibly a VP by that time based on my abilities.  If they want to run the company like that, then that's fine - just don't hide the fact that they discriminate against a specific set of people.  Change the official policy instead of saying they don't discriminate based on pigmentation, sex, etc.
  • Unfortunately competency is rarely the sole measure, hence the need for a conscious push for diversity.