back to article IBM demands $500,000 from boss after she jumps ship

IBM is taking the former head of its Thailand operation, Patama Chantaruck, to court to claw back $470,000 in benefits it believes she owes after going to work for a rival and – allegedly – breaking the terms of a non-compete clause. Chantaruck went to work for Big Blue in October 2018, joining as country general manager of …

  1. Sparkus

    one would think that.....

    the "detrimental conduct" clause should be applied to the senior 'leadership' and board of directors @IBM, but maybe that's just me........

    1. NoneSuch Silver badge

      Re: one would think that.....

      "IBM regards Accenture as a rival."

      IBM regards all businesses as rivals. If you're giving them money, you are acceptable to them.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Detrimental" is a stretch...

    I wouldn't really consider Accenture to be a competitor to IBM outside "the both do consultancy" which doesn't sound like what she was doing at IBM anyway...

    Still... if she has the money she might as well just pay them and flip them the bird. It's standard practice to get screwed over by IBM these days, she must have known that when she signed up for the gig.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Detrimental" is a stretch...

      It's standard practice to get screwed over by IBM these days, she must have known that when she signed up for the gig.

      Indeed ...

      But let me rephrase that for you:

      It's standard practice to get screwed over by [fill in] these days, she must have known that when she signed up for the gig.

      * any big/medium/small corp suing you into poverty

      There you go.

  3. xyz123 Silver badge

    I'm surprised IBM can afford lawyers.

    Gigantic company-obliterating cashflow issues combined with their open ageist/racist employment policies that have tens of thousands of lawsuits worldwide levied against them.

    The total compensation for the open malicious racism (literally emails saying "we found out that [employee] is an [ethnic slur]. fire them immediately" from the top-end of management) is expected to be 4-5x the entire value of IBMs entire assets and company value.

    I've even heard rumors they've 'delayed' peoples salary payments/bonuses etc as they literally are scrounging around for available cash.

    Maybe they intend to just stiff the lawyers JUST as they collapse and give the execs massive severance packages instead?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      IBM is a company if lawyers that sells mainframes as side gig.

      It does some other IT stuff too but only to write contracts for its lawyers to use to beat up customers.

      1. TVU Silver badge

        "lawyers that sells mainframes as side gig"

        Tbh, that sounds like the perfect description of Larry's Oracle these days.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, which is it

    $500.000, $470.000 or $470,220.906? Or have I missed something...

  5. MrBanana

    Breaking a contract that is no longer in force?

    As has been discussed multiple times here, non-compete clauses skate on thin ice. It may be in your contract with your employer, but once that contract is broken, what recourse is there to reclaim any monies? I've not seen an employment situation where a non-compete clause was in a separate contract. It will be interesting to see the way this pans out as she is very likely to have enough cash to hire a decent lawyer to oppose IBM. Or will it all be settled out of court as is so often the case. With an NDA that leaves us hanging again.

    1. JoeCool Bronze badge

      "No longer in force"

      Is that a legal opinion on the lifetime of an employment contract ? I suspect not.

      1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: "No longer in force"

        But it could be the opinion of a jury, if these things are conducted in such a way in Thailand. I'm pretty sure an employer would need to come up with something damned imaginative to show a non-compete clause was fair if I was on a jury.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Breaking a contract that is no longer in force?

      While your legal opinions would be valid in a country where employee rights are protected under employment law, my experience of such things in Thailand is that the company has all the rights and the employee has very few in cases such as this.

      Even though I have a low opinion of Accenture (we shall make huge saving by outsourcing and halting investment) if she really did take IBM customers to Accenture she has likely done the customers a large favour

      1. jgarbo

        Re: Breaking a contract that is no longer in force?

        My (30 yrs') experience in Thailand suggests that if she's "big" enough she won't be prosecuted. Plus unions here are very strong and tend to take the Thai's side against an International company.

      2. Spazturtle Silver badge

        Re: Breaking a contract that is no longer in force?

        This style of contract would likely be legal in Europe as well as this was a separate contract to her employment contract. She signed a contract where she was being paid to not work at certain companies for the duration of the contract and then decided to break her side of the contract.

    3. tekHedd

      Re: Breaking a contract that is no longer in force?

      I dunno, regardless of the legal status of boilerplate anticompete clauses, it sounds an awful lot like she entered into a special noncompete contract where she got paid separate money *specifically* to not compete. That sounds enforceable, at least to my non-lawyer ears. :) But they also have to prove competition, which sounds like a bigger problem.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well now we see why they charge so much

    Boy o boy

    Anyone using these muppets either of them need their heads examining.

  7. Phil Kingston

    I didn't actually need another recent to think IBM are scum, but here we are.

  8. Old Man Ted

    Check the countries laws

    What is legal in one country is often against the law of another country.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thank fsck I don't work for Accenture anymore

    This comment is designed to be as meaningless as a career at Accenture.

  10. Ashto5 Bronze badge

    Pay up

    This is about bonuses

    She has the money pay up get on with your life

    Your making 7 figure money this is purely about ego

    Pay up, move on live better life.

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