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Amazon is suing Google over its hiring of Brian Hall, a former AWS marketing executive, to serve as a VP of marketing for Google Cloud, citing a non-compete clause in Hall's contract.

The big picture: The move speaks to the level of competition between Amazon and Google — as well as the fact that Washington state still allows some non-compete agreements, while the clauses are generally unenforceable in California.

Details:

  • In its suit, Amazon is seeking to enforce an 18-month non-compete provision that Hall signed when he joined the company and asking a King County, Washington, court to issue an injunction preventing Hall from joining Google.
  • In his response, Hall said communications with Amazon had led him to believe the company would not enforce the non-compete provision and asked the court to declare the clause unenforceable.
  • Hall stopped working at Amazon in February and his last official day was in March. He agreed to join Google in April, according to court papers.

Context: The move comes as tech companies are widening the types of jobs in which they try to enforce non-compete agreements.

  • Amazon previously sued over an AWS sales executive who joined Google.
  • IBM also turned to the courts, suing when its chief diversity officer went to Microsoft, though the dispute was later settled, with the executive joining Microsoft after a delay.
  • A Google representative declined to comment on the suit, and an Amazon representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper

Sep 14, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Andrew Gillum says he is bisexual

Andrew Gillum. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Andrew Gillum, the former mayor of Tallahassee, Florida, came out as bisexual in an interview with Tamron Hall on Monday.

Driving the news: "I don’t identify as gay, but I do identify as bisexual. And that is something that I have never shared publicly before," Gillum, who was once considered a rising star in the Democratic party after his Florida gubernatorial run in 2018, told Hall.

Symone Sanders leaving VP's office

Vice President Kamala Harris and her press secretary Symone Sanders. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Symone Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris, is leaving the VP’s office by the end of this year, three White House officials told Axios on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The VP has faced an onslaught of criticism in her first year centered on her leadership and staff, adding to the suggestion, she’s not the Democratic Party’s preferred nominee for 2024.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 2 hours ago - Health

Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The travel bans and border closures prompted by the Omicron variant likely won't fully prevent its spread, but that won't stop countries from leaning on the measures.

Why it matters: The rapid speed at which countries turned to travel bans with the emergence of Omicron indicates border controls will increasingly become a weapon against infectious disease — whether or not public health experts agree they are effective.