Over the years Read-Rite and later WDC attracted a number of Seagate engineers from RHO in Minneapolis. It's more a tribute to the problems that existed back then at RHO.
STX tried to block Goglia from leaving but that was over turned in the Minnesota courts. The job didn't work out and Goglia left to become CTO at XRTX.
Another possibility is Sining Mao, a former key STX head process engineer, now a VP at WDC.
My money is on him.
In the end, one wonders what's next for WDC? $525 M is a lot of bucks. I remember STX getting sued by IBM for hiring Peter Bonyhard, a head design guru who retired from IBM. The suit actually got on 60 Minutes.
In the end the only thing that happened was both firms cross licensed and the STX & IBM lawyers made a lot of money. IBM was after STX's laser texture patent, which they got rights to as part of the settlement. BTW, IMHO IBM was far sleazier than STX in some of the things it pulled during the lawsuit.
As it turns out, it does indeed appear to be fallout from P.Goglia's move to WD. In the finest Seagate tradition of technological innovation, if you can't engineer it yourself and/or find/retain the talent then find a scapegoat, claim theft of IP and litigate/arbitrate. I suppose that there is an argument that Seagate will get more cash from this than if they had even tried to retain him. And then, providing incentive's to employees would be against the bureaucratic management strategy of keeping the 'staff' "in line" so they know their place. "The reward for a job well done is more work." gets translated into MBA speak as "Good thing you did your job, but you've been neglecting our real needs, now get busy and we may see if we have a real opportunity for you that will build character, never mind the salary cuts." Of course, he's moved onto Xyratex a while back now.
What a great company to work for with all that support for an employee attempting to use his skills in the 'free market'. He was a nice enough guy, but hardly worth a half a billion dollars IMHO. Hey, anybody know some young folks just graduating that are looking for an exciting job in a technology industry? Publicity like this really attracts the talent!
This is the type of corporate culture that is bravely leading the way from areal density increases of 100% annually back at the start of the decade to the current flaming pace of about 20% per year. Projections based on rate of areal density growth this decade suggest that superior management is plateauing toward toward a 0% rate of increase in less than 5 more years.
"On October 4, 2006, plaintiff Seagate Technology LLC (“Seagate”) filed a complaint against the Company and one of its employees formerly employed by Seagate in the Minnesota Fourth Judicial District Court. The complaint alleges claims based on supposed misappropriation of trade secrets and seeks injunctive relief and unspecified monetary damages, fees and costs. On June 19, 2007, the Company’s employee filed a demand for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association. A motion to stay the litigation as against all defendants and to compel arbitration of all Seagate’s claims was granted on September 19, 2007. On September 23, 2010, Seagate filed a motion to amend its claims and add allegations based on the supposed misappropriation of additional confidential information, and the arbitrator granted Seagate’s motion. The arbitration hearing commenced on May 23, 2011 and concluded on July 11, 2011. The parties will be filing post-arbitration briefs in August 2011. The arbitrator is expected to render a decision in the fall of 2011. The Company continues to defend itself vigorously in this matter."
Wouldn't insurance cover this - if it is ever paid?