BREAKING NEWS Protests continue in downtown Lafayette, avoid the area Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

IBM and Microsoft battle over top workplace diversity exec

IBM is suing to stop its chief diversity officer from moving to Microsoft, a suit that demonstrates how critical and ...

Posted: Feb 14, 2018 8:41 AM
Updated: Feb 14, 2018 8:42 AM

IBM is suing to stop its chief diversity officer from moving to Microsoft, a suit that demonstrates how critical and hard it is for tech giants to improve the diversity of their work forces.

The suit by IBM charges that Lindsay-Rae McIntyre is in violation of a non-compete clause she signed when she was chief diversity officer at the company, where she was in charge of recruiting and promoting more women and minorities into its work force. It charges that Microsoft would unfairly benefit in the competition to hire qualified women and minority competition if McIntyre is allowed to jump ship.

"McIntyre will be leading the team at Microsoft responsible for deciding how to compete against IBM for diverse talent in the marketplace, and how to attempt to win business from customers based on the purported strength and potential success of Microsoft's diversity initiatives," said the suit.

It says she has served for 2-1/2 years as IBM's chief diversity officer until she told IBM on Jan. 14 that she had accepted the job at Microsoft. It says she oversaw teams that developed artificial intelligence-based tools and methodologies to track career development, recommend growth opportunities and potential paths for promotion and to monitor diversity metrics at the company.

The suit argues if she wants to change jobs McIntyre should go to a company that is not a direct competitor of IBM in terms of recruiting tech workers.

The judge in the case has granted a temporary restraining order to stop McIntyre from starting at Microsoft, and set a conference on the suit for Feb. 22.

Related: Tech's diversity efforts termed 'a failure'

McIntyre's response says that she has committed to not disclose any confidential information she may remember from IBM.

"While it is true that organizations that do better on diversity and inclusion may have a competitive advantage, that simple construct should not be confused with the issue before this court: whether IBM can enforce a breathtakingly overbroad non-competition agreement against its former chief diversity officer who has taken no IBM confidential information," said her response to the suit.

She said that as a mother of three young children she accepted the job with Microsoft because it allowed her to relocate to Washington state and be near her parents and other family members.

Microsoft said it was pleased to have McIntyre join the company, and that "We have no interest in any of IBM's confidential information."

IBM's web site says that women made up 31.8% of its global work force in 2016, and 24% of executives. It's chairman and CEO, Ginni Rometty, is a woman.

Microsoft's web site shows that 74% of its employees in 2017 were male, and 26% are women. In addition 56.2% were white and 31.3% Asians. All other ethnic groups including Latinos and blacks make up the remaining 12.5%. Microsoft was sued by women employees who charging gender discrimination, a suit that is still working its way through federal court.

IBM says that in that suit Microsoft has sought to keep secret the same type of diversity data and information that McIntyre knows about IBM and could now bring to Microsoft.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34574

Reported Deaths: 2134
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9853578
Lake3616190
Allen161869
Cass15877
Elkhart132228
St. Joseph127434
Hendricks116971
Hamilton115993
Johnson1105108
Madison58659
Porter53928
Bartholomew51135
Clark50441
LaPorte43323
Howard40828
Tippecanoe4023
Jackson3891
Delaware38537
Shelby37322
Hancock33827
Floyd31839
Boone31535
Morgan27724
Vanderburgh2742
Montgomery24117
White2358
Noble23221
Clinton2321
Decatur22431
Grant21122
Dubois1993
Harrison19422
Henry18211
Greene16924
Vigo1698
Dearborn16821
Monroe16612
Warrick16628
Lawrence16324
Miami1401
Putnam1377
Kosciusko1351
Jennings1304
Orange12822
Scott1203
Franklin1108
Ripley1096
Marshall1082
Carroll932
Daviess8816
Steuben832
Wayne825
LaGrange812
Wabash782
Newton7810
Fayette777
Jasper671
Washington521
Jay520
Clay511
Fulton491
Rush472
Randolph473
Pulaski460
Jefferson451
Whitley423
Starke393
DeKalb371
Sullivan361
Owen351
Brown331
Perry330
Wells320
Benton300
Huntington282
Knox280
Tipton251
Blackford252
Crawford240
Fountain212
Switzerland200
Spencer201
Parke180
Gibson172
Posey160
Adams151
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0167
West Lafayette
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 73°
Kokomo
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 67°
Rensselaer
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 68°
Fowler
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 68°
Williamsport
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 72°
Crawfordsville
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 67°
Frankfort
Scattered Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 68°
Delphi
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 68°
Monticello
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 68°
Logansport
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 66°
Hot, humid weather with severe weather risk.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events