Just say no to Google, Microsoft…

May 31, 2007

images11.jpegThough the news that Yahoo’s (YHOO) Chief Technology Officer Farzad “Zod” Nazem has already been widely reported, the severance agreement that was filed yesterday afternoon provides some interesting details. Not on Nazem’s severance, which seems pretty vanilla with a combination of salary and options. But the agreement shows exactly who Yahoo views as the competition based on what happens to Nazem’s options if the executive chooses to work for either Google (GOOG) or Microsoft (MSFT):

Employment Forfeiture. If, either prior to the Separation Date or during the three (3) years following the Separation Date, you in any way directly or indirectly own, manage, operate, control, accept employment or a consulting position with or otherwise advise or assist or be actively connected with, or have any financial interest in, directly or indirectly, either Google Inc. or Microsoft Corporation…your right to exercise your Stock Options shall immediately cease.

Yahoo does make an exception if Nazem goes to work for a start-up that is eventually purchased by either Google or Microsoft so long as the “primary purpose of which is to acquire the company’s business and technology and not your services”. After all, at 45, Nazem may want to slow down, but sooner or later, he’ll probably want to do something with all that free time, not to mention money.

There was one other interesting tidbit in the severance agreement: Nazem gets to keep the “company owned computer”. Does that mean he’ll have to give back the solar-powered one?

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