The time Steve Jobs asked Google's Schmidt to stop stealing employees

A 2007 e-mail uncovered in the course of a lawsuit reveals that under Steve Jobs' request, Google's Eric Schmidt got one of the company's own recruiters fired after they tried to hire an Apple engineer.
Written by Matt Weinberger, Contributor

A polite 2007 e-mail sent from late Apple visionary Steve Jobs to Google founder and then-CEO Eric Schmidt asking the latter to stop poaching the former's employees has surfaced. And the really crazy part is that Schmidt conceded.

According to the original Reuters report, the e-mail entered the public eye as the result of an ongoing civil lawsuit against Apple, Google, Adobe, Intel, Intuit and Pixar - over allegedly violating antitrust laws by keeping salaries low by conspiring to not hiring each other's employees.

Apparently, a Google recruiter tried to snag an Apple engineer, which was even more of a faux pas given that Schmidt served on the Apple board at the time.

"I would be very pleased if your recruiting department would stop doing this," Jobs' message to Schmidt reportedly said.

"Can you get this stopped and let me know why this is happening?" Schmidt wrote to undisclosed recipients in his e-mail forward of Jobs' message.

Schmidt sent that e-mail on, and it eventually worked its way down the chain to the manager of the recruiter in question, who apparently replied that the recruiter would be terminated "within the hour," with that same manager asking for his personal apologies to be extended to Jobs.

Reuters has plenty of legal nitty-gritty and some more perspective on the case, but if Google and Apple are under scrutiny for colluding to this e-mail seems like a smoking gun. And if nothing else, it's a reminder that the late Steve Jobs may have been a genius, but he wasn't always the nicest person.

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