August 21, 2012
Man Sues Apple For Wrongful Firing, Says Jobs Offered Him A Job For Life
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
According to Goodrich, Steve Jobs himself had promised him a lifelong position with the Cupertino company. Goodrich now claims he was fired just months after Jobs´ passing for no legitimate reason, despite Jobs´ promise to him. Goodrich´s complaint against Apple was filed last week, August 17th, in the California State Court in San Jose.
According to the court-filed complaint, Goodrich had been a trusted advisor to Steve Jobs ever since he took the position in 1998, acting as an “executive producer” for Apple´s infamous Keynote presentations and product announcements. Then, in a 2005 one-on-one meeting, (shortly after Jobs had returned from his first medical leave) Goodrich says he was told by Jobs that he´d always have a job at Apple.
“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,” writes Goodrich in the complaint.
When Goodrich was let go from the world´s most valuable company in December, he was told it was for “business reasons” which were unrelated to his job performance. Goodrich is also accusing Apple of terminating him so they wouldn´t have to pay off on his restricted stock units, which were valued at $635 a share the day Goodrich filed the suit. It´s likely Goodrich would have had to been with the company for a certain number of years before being able to cash out on this restricted stock.
All told, Goodrich is accusing Apple of breach of contract as well as unfair business practices and is seeking damages for his lost restricted stock, as well as lost wages, benefits and emotional distress.
Not surprisingly, an Apple spokesperson refused to offer comment on this new lawsuit.
Goodrich claims he was instrumental in the execution of Apple´s new product releases and Steve Jobs keynote speeches. He says he not only helped in the creative process, but also developed the presentations and worked directly with Jobs to prepare for the events, according to the complaint.
Taking his claims even further, Goodrich claims he is the person responsible for introducing Apple to Siri, the virtual personal assistant technology purchased by the company in 2010. He says he was also the first to meet with Siri´s makers before the acquisition took place, according to the complaint.
Goodrich did receive bonuses and raises each year he was employed by Apple, including the years 2007 through 2011. Goodrich also claims that Steve promised him another position with the company should anything happen to his “executive producer” position or Jobs suddenly leave the company.
It might be worth noting that Wayne Goodrich never shows up in Jobs´ biography, in which he provides much insight into his product announcements and those who remained close confidants to him. Though this isn´t completely damning, it is worth mentioning, considering how important Goodrich says he was to his company and Jobs.
There is one reference to a promised life-long job at Apple in the Jobs biography, of course. Before he passed, Steve Jobs set up Apple so that no one is above Jony Ive, and no one can tell him what to do.
“That´s the way I set it up,” said Steve Jobs.