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Chief Technology Officer at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) in Sunnyvale, California, he previously was the Senior Vice President of Devices Hardware Engineering at Apple Inc. where he replaced Tony Fadell who was responsible for the team that created the iPod. He worked at IBM from 1982?2008. His last position at IBM was as Vice President of IBM's Blade Server division. In 2008, his decision to move from IBM to Apple became central to a court case considering the validity and scope of an employee non-compete clause in the technology industry. In August 2010 he stepped down from his position because of issues with Apple's internal politics and corporate culture. He obtained his B.S. degree from the University of Texas and his M.S. degree from the University of Vermont. He worked at IBM for 26 years, beginning in 1982 in Vermont. He moved to Texas around 1990 for the rest of his employment with the company. He started designing circuits in the Microelectronics Division. He then moved on to work in microprocessor technology development for 15 years, from 1991 until 2006, with five years spent working specifically on PowerPC, the same architecture Apple adopted for its line of Macintosh computers. Originally intended for personal computers, PowerPC CPUs have since become popular as embedded and high-performance processors. During his tenure in microprocessor development, he earned the knowledge and expertise to become a respected chip designer across the industry and a "top expert" in the field of POWER processing for PCs. IBM promoted him to Vice President of Microprocessor Technology Development. He moved from microprocessors to the role of Vice President of the Blade Development Unit of IBM in October 2006, working on IBM's blade server technology, a stripped down server computer with a modular design optimized to minimize the use of physical space and energy. IBM also selected him to join the Integration & Values Team (I&VT), a group consisting of approximately 300 top IBM executives who had access to "highly confidential information" not available to most of the company's employees. He served on the Technical Leadership Team as well, a group of top technical leaders in the company who focused on expanding and attracting talent to the company's workforce. Like the I&VT, the Technical Leadership Team also had access to highly confidential information. In October 2007, Apple started looking for a top-level executive to work under their Senior VP, iPod Division and eventually move into the Senior VP role, reporting directly to then CEO Steve Jobs. He was one of many candidates interviewed for the position, but Apple did not find him to be the right fit. An internal email from SVP of Mac Hardware & Engineering Bob Mansfield expressed concerns about his ability to fill the position but noted that, ?Papermaster is immensely smart about microprocessor design, large systems, and semiconductors." In April 2008, Apple bought P.A. Semi, a microchip design company, with the intent of using the company's chips on Apple's iPods and iPhones. In the microprocessor industry, P.A. Semi and IBM were direct competitors. Five months later, after the release of new versions of the iPod and the iPhone, Apple picked up the search for a Senior VP, iPod/iPhone Division to replace Tony Fadell. He interviewed again in October, and Apple offered him the position on October 10, 2008. He accepted, told IBM he planned to accept on October 13, 2008, and notified them of acceptance on October 20, 2008. IBM offered him a raise if he agreed to stay or one year's salary if he delayed starting at Apple for one year. He declined the offer and submitted his formal resignation the next day. Due to the sensitive nature of the information to which he would gain access, IBM had him sign a Noncompetition Agreement on June 21, 2006 in order to be considered for Integration & Values Team membership. The clause mandated, "...during [Mr. Papermaster's] employment with IBM and for one (1) year following the termination of [his] employment...[Mr. Papermaster] will not directly or indirectly within the 'Restricted Area' (1) 'Engage in or Associate with' (a) any 'Business or Enterprise' or (b) any significant competitor or major competitor of the company." The non-compete went on to define the terms "Restricted Area" as any geographic location where he had worked in the previous 12 months; "Engage or Associate with" as becoming an employee, associate, member, etc.; and "Business or Enterprise" as an "entity" that competes with any Business Unit in which he worked in the previous two years. The agreement also stated that any violation of this agreement would cause IBM "irreparable harm," a factor the company suing an employee over a non-compete usually has the burden to prove. On 22 October 2008 IBM filed a complaint against him in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets. The parties settled after Judge Kenneth Karas filed his opinion, agreeing that he could work for Apple but must pass two court certifications - one in July 2009 and the second in October 2009 - where he would testify he had not passed on IBM trade secrets. On August 7, 2010, The New York Times reported that he was leaving Apple in the wake of the iPhone 4 antenna troubles. It was later reported by The Wall Street Journal that his exit from Apple was rather due to "broader cultural incompatibility", and a loss of confidence from Apple CEO Steve Jobs. In October, 2010, he joined Cisco Systems as a VP in the engineering department and on October 19, 2011, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) announced that he would be the Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President.
  • Noted For:

    Overseer of the development of IBM's blade server technology
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