The MS/Google “search war” (aka the hiring of Dr. Lee) continues with newly unsealed court documents showing that Google anticipated possible “issues” when they hired Dr. Kai-Fu Lee to lead Google China.
Via the Seattle Times:
When it hired Kai-Fu Lee, Google agreed to pay his full salary and let his stock options vest even if he couldn’t work for up to 12 months because of a noncompete agreement he signed at Microsoft…Google declined to comment on the employment agreement, but spokesman Steve Langdon said the company is still on track to open the China lab this fall. Microsoft spokeswoman Stacy Drake said the employment agreement “underscores the fact that Google was aware that Dr. Lee had a noncompete agreement with us and had the expectation that by hiring him, he could be breaking that agreement.”
Btw, several of the unsealed court documents (some heavily redacted) are available (PDF) via the Seattle Times.
- Employment agreement between Google and Kai-Fu Lee that provides for his salary even if he’s prevented from working
- Notes from a May 18, 2004 meeting where Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Kai-Fu Lee discussed search and competition with Google
- String of emails discussing Microsoft’s new salary structure in China