Amazon sues former AWS VP over new Google Cloud role

Brian Hall's new role at Google Cloud "fails to comply with the terms of his confidentiality agreement"

Amazon has filed a lawsuit against former Amazon Web Services (AWS) VP of product marketing Brian Hall, alleging that his new role at Google Cloud fails to comply with the terms of his confidentiality agreement.

Hall signed the contract with Amazon in June 2018, but his lawyers argued that executives at the company, including former AWS VP of worldwide marketing Ariel Kelman, led him to believe the company would not enforce its non-compete provisions. 

According to court filings, Hall slams the clause as “overbroad, unreasonable, and unenforceable”, adding that his new role at Google Cloud “will not require him to use or disclose any Amazon confidential information”.

“To Hall, that was understandable: as drafted, the clause sweeps far more broadly than necessary to protect Amazon’s legitimate business interests," the court filings state. 

"Kelman also told Hall that he had never seen Amazon attempt to enforce the clause against a marketing employee, even though several such employees had previously departed for similar positions at Amazon’s rivals. Hall accepted his position with Amazon in reliance on those representations.”

Amazon believes that Hall’s position at Google Cloud, one of AWS’ biggest rivals, could sabotage the confidentiality of Amazon’s competitive information.

The company is planning to enforce the non-compete provisions of Hall’s contract, banning him from working in cloud product marketing for Google, or any other AWS competitor, for 18 months.

According to Amazon, which filed the lawsuit on 18 May, Hall “helped develop and knows the entire confidential Amazon cloud product roadmap for 2020-21”.

Related Resource

Join us for the inaugural IT Pro Live conference June 22-26

Stream it live from the safety of your own home or office

Register now

“Virtually every day, Hall worked with Amazon’s most senior cloud executives to create and execute those plans. As a result, he was entrusted with an unusually broad view into Amazon’s cloud product plans; its priorities; and its competitive strategy”, the filing reads.

The case could set a precedent for the treatment of similar non-compete provisions which, until now, most often concerned employees in the engineering sector, and not marketing leaders.

The news of the lawsuit comes days after SpaceX CEO Elon Musk blasted Amazon and its founder, Jeff Bezos, on Twitter, telling the company that "monopolies are wrong"

Featured Resources

2021 Thales access management index: Global edition

The challenges of trusted access in a cloud-first world

Free download

Transforming higher education for the digital era

The future is yours

Free download

Building a cloud-native, hybrid-multi cloud infrastructure

Get ready for hybrid-multi cloud databases, AI, and machine learning workloads

Free download

The next biggest shopping destination is the cloud

Know why retail businesses must move to the cloud

Free Download

Most Popular

Best Linux distros 2021
operating systems

Best Linux distros 2021

11 Oct 2021
Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans

11 Oct 2021
Supply chain breaches impacted 97% of firms in the past year
supply chain management (SCM)

Supply chain breaches impacted 97% of firms in the past year

12 Oct 2021