Former Apple employee Wayne Goodrich sues Apple claiming him Jobs promised him a job for life

Wed, Aug 22, 2012

Legal, News

There’s some Apple legal news to report, and surprise surprise, it doesn’t involve Samsung or any other tech company matter.

The name Wayne Goodrich may not sound familiar, but he’s a former Apple employee who reportedly helped produce a good number Apple’s keynote events. Goodrich was fired from Apple back in December and now he’s suing the company arguing that former CEO Steve Jobs promised  him that he’d have a job for life at Apple.

Bloomberg reports:

Goodrich, who worked for Jobs since 1998, was promised by late chairman of the world’s most valuable company in a one-on- one meeting in May 2005 that he would always have a job at Apple, according to the complaint. The conversation took place after Jobs’s return from medical leave to receive treatment for pancreatic cancer, Goodrich said.

“This express promise by Steve Jobs was consistent with a practice that Steve Jobs had, acting on behalf of defendant Apple, of promising job security to certain key employees who worked directly with him for many years,” Goodrich said in the complaint.

And so, Goodrich is suing for breach of contract and unfair business practices.

And what does he want? Well, he’s looking for damages relating to lost restricted stock units, lost salary, benefits, and get this.. emotional distress.

As for the stock units, Goodrich was let go before they were able to vest. The shares in question were awarded to him back in 2008 when Apple was trading at $97.40 a share. Today, those shares would be worth quite the pretty penny as Apple shares have been skyrocketing as of late into unchartered and record territory.

He received raises and bonuses each year, including from 2007 through 2011, according to the complaint. Goodrich was assured by Jobs in 2010 that he would be given another job at Apple if anything happened to his position and Jobs wasn’t around, according to the complaint.

And so there you have it.. yet another wild and wacky legal case involving Apple.

Oh, and one last thing.

Back in October we reported on a statement Apple board member Al Gore made at the AllThingsD conference. Gore noted how Jobs was very much aware of the Walt Disney effect wherein employees at Disney, after the death of the company’s founder, would try and figure out “What would Walt do?” instead of thinking for themselves.

Jobs did not want a similar dynamic to befall Apple after his death.

“And he made it very clear,” Gore explained, ‘I don’t want that.’ “He made it clear to Tim Cook and everyone else ‘Don’t ask what Steve would have done. Follow your own voice.’”


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