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Google Hires Senior Apple Executive

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Former Apple director of integrity Simon Prakash is hired by Google to work on a ‘secret’ project

Google has reportedly recruited a senior Apple executive to work on a secret project at the company.

The appointment of Simon Prakash is being seen as a coup by the search giant as it has never previously been able to persuade such a senior member of staff to leave Apple – or it could mark the end of a “no-poaching” agreement between the two firms.

Headhunting

Prakash worked at Apple for more than eight years and his most recent position was the senior director of product integrity, in which he was responsible product quality across the entire range of Apple products from iPhones to Macs. Prior to this, he was director of engineering design validation at Cielo Communications.

At Google, he will work on a secret project, which could be one of the many experiments undertaken at the company’s secret Google X laboratory, which works on ideas such as space travel, robots and connected devices. Another possibility is that he could be working on a Motorola product: after Google announced its intention to purchase Motorola Mobility in an £8 billion takeover, runours have suggested Google will produce its own tablets.

The appointment has been seen as significant as it comes at a time when the Department of Justice is investigating Google and Apple over allegations of a ‘no poach’ agreement between themselves, Pixar, Lucasfilm, Intel and Intuit not to hire each other’s former employees in order to reduce compensation payments. It has been noted that if there ever was such an agreement, it no longer exists.

It also remains to be seen what Prakash’s hiring does to the already strained relationship between Apple and Google. Apple and a number of manufacturers which create devices running Google’s Android mobile operating system engaged in a number of lawsuits. The most significant of these has been the legal battle between Apple and Samsung, with the former seeing the Galaxy Tab 10.1 as a copy of its market-leading iPad tablet.