Ed Threatens A CEO

‘So far so good with my “No Poaching” initiative to get the leading companies to agree not to employ eachothers’ engineers,’ Ed confides to his diary, ‘ the CEOs of the big companies have all agreed to it on a personal, zero-paper trail, handshake basis.’

Ed has been concerned by the number of engineers who have been leaving his company since it was acquired by a private equity company. He reckons he can get his fellow CEOs to agree not to employ eachothers’ engineers.

 Because such agreements are in restraint of trade and illegal in most countries, Ed has to tie up the agreements informally.

‘Now for the big one,’ writes Ed, ‘it’s not a large company but a young, fast-growing German company which, unfortunately, has recruited more of our former engineers than anyone else.’

”Today I phoned the CEO of the German company which is taking so many of our engineers.’

 ‘”We need your help,” I tell him, ‘the whole industry is signing up to this”.’

 ‘”This is unethical, illegal and a disgrace to our industry,” the German CEO tells me, “we will take no part in it”.’

 ‘”In that case my company will bring a lawsuit against you for patent infringement,” I tell him.’

 ‘”But we haven’t infringed any of your patents,” protested the German CEO.’

 ‘”Our lawyers will find something and, remember, our patent portfolio is a hundred times bigger than yours and our pockets are far deeper than yours. We can bleed you to death with legal costs if don’t go along with us”.’

 ‘”Oh well,” sighed the German CEO, “if you put it like that we’ll go along with your No Poaching agreement”.’

 ‘”There’s a good fellow,” I tell him, ‘roll on my $25 mill.’



  1. georgegrimes-ti-com.myopenid.com

    X, this is a wonderful collection of fallacies! I know upper level managers of various companies who firmly believe every one of them. What a shame! 🙁

  2. My commiserations, Dr Bob

  3. Ed’s bro is real enough!

  4. Spot on, X, how could a real person be as dumb as Ed?

  5. Ah, finally conclusive proof that Ed is a fictional character. You see, PE companies love it when engineers leave since it cuts the salary bill. It’s even better when the older engineers leave since they tend to be paid more. Engineers are a commodity and there are plenty of cheap ones available coming out of the universities. And as every financier knows, software engineers can design RF and vice versa. And the younger engineers will, by definition, have more up to date skills than aging 50 something engineers.

  6. Actually you’re quite right, Mike, it was put up last week but only very briefly and then I took it down as I realised it was out of chronological sequence. Last week’s entry, Feb 4, was Ed Plans A No Poaching Agreement. This week’s was the one I intended for this week but posted prematurely.

  7. Have you been on the Guinness again ? This was last week’s one 🙂

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