Former IBM executive joins Apple

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Despite an IBM lawsuit to keep him from joining the company, Apple on Tuesday announced that former IBM Vice President Mark Papermaster will join Apple as senior vice president of Devices Hardware Engineering.

With 25 years of product and technology experience, Papermaster will lead Apple’s iPod and iPhone hardware engineering teams. In his new role Papermaster will report directly to Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

With the addition of Papermaster, Apple will lose the full time executives. Affected are Tony Fadell, Apple’s senior vice president of the iPod Division, and his wife Danielle Lambert, vice president of Human Resources. Both are said to be leaving to spend more time with their family.

Apple said Fadell will remain as an advisor to Jobs. Lambert will leave the company at the end of 2008, when a successor has been chosen.

IBM sued Papermaster trying to block his employment at Apple. IBM claims that he has knowledge of “significant and highly confidential IBM trade secrets” that would “irreparably harm” the company if he is allowed to work for Apple. Papermaster also signed a noncompetition agreement in 2006 pledging not to work for competitors for one year after the conclusion of his employment with IBM.

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