Google, Microsoft Settle Dispute Over Employee

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-01-09 Print this article Print

Some five months after Google announced plans to open a product R&D center in China and appoint former Microsoft Vice President Kai-Fu Lee to head the operation.

Some five months after Google announced plans to open a product R&D center in China and appoint former Microsoft Vice President Kai-Fu Lee to head the operation, the parties have settled the matter. In a brief statement released late last month, Microsoft spokesperson Jack Evans said the parties resolved their issues.

Evans declined to give details on the agreement, saying the terms are confidential and that all parties agreed to make no other statements to the media regarding it.

However, Evans did say Microsoft is "pleased with the terms of our settlement with Google and Dr. Lee."

David Drummond, Googles vice president of corporate development and its general counsel, would only say that while the trial date is set for Jan. 9 between Google, Kai-Fu Lee and Microsoft regarding the one-year noncompete period, "the parties have entered into a private agreement that resolves all issues to their mutual satisfaction."

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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