Suit: Apple’s Steve Jobs promised me job for life

Is there any such thing as a guaranteed job for life?

(Associated Press)

(Associated Press)

Yes, according to Wayne Goodrich, a one-time close aide to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs and now the complainant in a California lawsuit filed against the maker of the iPhone and iPad.

Goodrich, who says he was the “executive producer” behind the headline-grabbing roll-outs of Apple’s premier products, said the Apple leader promised him he’d always have a job, according a lawsuit obtained by Bloomberg News.

Goodrich said Jobs made the promise in May 2005 after he’d returned from medical leave for pancreatic cancer treatment. Jobs, 56, died of complications from the cancer last October.

Goodrich, who joined Apple in 1998, said he was let go in December 2011 for “business reasons,” according to Bloomberg. His lawyer, Phil Horowitz, however, said Apple is trying to avoid paying Goodrich restricted stock, the value of which as jumped from $97.40 a share when it was awarded in 2008 to $635 on Aug. 17, the suit’s filing date.

In addition to coordinating key product unveilings featuring keynote presentations by Jobs in his trademark black mock turtlenecks and blue jeans, Goodrich said he also was the first Apple employee to meet with Siri Inc. representatives, helping to pave the way for Apple’s acquisition of Siri.

Goodrich is seeking unspecified damages for the lost restricted stock, wages, benefits and emotional distress.

Does he have a case?

63 comments Add your comment

William

August 21st, 2012
12:37 pm

In Georgia and most other educated states, not a parayer.
In California with all the liberal nutcases (believing in a job for life, free healthcare, Governor Moonbeam, etc.) probably a good shot.

William

August 21st, 2012
12:37 pm

prayer.. sorry

Mike

August 21st, 2012
12:40 pm

Maybe he meant for HIS life not Goodrich’s life?

K-Ster

August 21st, 2012
12:46 pm

He probably got let go because he’s a whiny b!tch who thinks he’s entitled to the moon for doing x, y, z.

Prof

August 21st, 2012
12:50 pm

Does he have the promise in writing? If not, probably no case.

K-Ster

August 21st, 2012
12:51 pm

William: Or, he’s a conservative tea-bagger who doesn’t understand ‘legitimate’ termination of employment. Liberals don’t get themselves in the mess in the first place.

Phil the Contract Lawyer

August 21st, 2012
12:52 pm

Actually,

If anything is documented he would have a case.

In pretty much every state, the length of employment is determined at the employers will unless “otherwise specified by contract”. If he can prove it, he can win. Period.

Barack Reagan

August 21st, 2012
12:52 pm

William/K0Ster: You two are a pathetic bunch of judgmental morons.

K-Ster

August 21st, 2012
12:54 pm

Barack Reagan: Thank you for your judgement. Hypocrisy has helped you make your point. Way to use your resource(s)! :-)

Ronald Reagan

August 21st, 2012
12:56 pm

Why are all whiny crybaby conservatives constantly promoting big government. They want to turn America into a police state, everyone must carry documents at all times, surveillance of private citizens without warrants, stealing money from the working class to subsidize the wealthy. Republicans want to strip all our personal liberties through their big government police state programs. If you are stupid enough to think affordable healthcare is big government well Romney is for that too. We already defeated the fascists once in the forties and it will happen again in november.

HR Dude

August 21st, 2012
1:00 pm

As a professional working in HR, I can say with confidence that he does NOT have a case. But, as an ordinary citizen, I can say with confidence that he DOES have a case.

jd

August 21st, 2012
1:04 pm

Use to be in the state of Georgia, you could do business with a handshake. Tis a shame we can’t rely on promises anymore.

MoMoney

August 21st, 2012
1:04 pm

a promise “for life”? not enforceable, anywhere.

Fan

August 21st, 2012
1:11 pm

Looks like Apple doesn’t want to pay him for his stock. Regardless of his employment for life promise, they owe him what is due.

Kdawg8762

August 21st, 2012
1:16 pm

Fan is right, in fact, i don’t see him really filing charges based on the term of employment, just over the stock. Way to go Atlanta Fish Wrap.

Jed

August 21st, 2012
1:18 pm

You could start a drinking game called “How Quickly AJC Post Topics Get Off-Hand.”

BRW

August 21st, 2012
1:25 pm

Professional – - – HR, best oxymoron of the week!

AJ

August 21st, 2012
1:32 pm

“In Georgia and most other educated states”??? Most hilarious comment EVER!! Anyways, a previous poster is correct, a promise for life is not enforceable. The issue in the case will come down to the restricted stock. This has nothing to do with Liberal/Conservative people. It has to do with the terms of the restricted stock.

Cris

August 21st, 2012
1:34 pm

I think the real question is: “Why is this newsworthy at all?”. Who cares about this guy? This kind of stuff happens all over and is dealt with in a straightforward manner. I suppose there’s some consolation in the knowledge that as long as this qualifies as “news”, then nothing even remotely bad is happening. It’s like reading about Britney Spears on the front page of the newspaper.

Steve Jobs, Now Available on the iCloud

August 21st, 2012
1:37 pm

…Oops. My bad!

tivatime

August 21st, 2012
1:50 pm

William, You’re a scream! Georgia an educated state!!!! Funny Stuff…LMAO….stop it….whew!

AD

August 21st, 2012
2:01 pm

“In Georgia and most other educated states…”

OK, that is the most comical statement I have heard in a VERY long time…equating Georgia with an educated state…ROFL!!!!!!

Herp de Derp

August 21st, 2012
2:10 pm

In Georgia and most other educated states

Well, it’s nice to know that the bar for “educated” is set so low. Apparently, if only 2/3 of your state’s kids graduate from high school, that makes your state edumacatid. :roll:

Ronnie II

August 21st, 2012
2:16 pm

Hey, Ronald Reagan…do you think you might you might have an agenda? Sheesh! Does the guy stand a chance? In Cal-if forn-I-A? Probably.

john

August 21st, 2012
2:17 pm

Sometimes people like the sneaky Steve Jobs make those kind of promises without really thinking. If this promise can be confirmed there may be a valid case here. Steve Jobs also promised me a quality computer and all I got was an expensive piece of junk (I could have a case too).

O-Bama

August 21st, 2012
2:17 pm

You didn’t build that. Now go on welfare like the rest of the lazy bums.

Johnboy

August 21st, 2012
2:32 pm

KSter – Liberals don’t get themselves in the mess in the first place.because they don’t have jobs to get fired from. They just have their hand out taking MY money.

Lynn

August 21st, 2012
3:06 pm

Really people. This is not right or left issue. Its about keeping his job and getting the stock payout he is entitled too. Entitlement is not a bad thing if you work for it!!! Its yours- please learn the definition of words.FYI – SS, Medicare and Vets benefits arent entitlement, people worked and paid with their hard earned money for these benefits – CONGRESS AND SENATE have the biggest entitlement programs in the country from being elected. Health Insurance and Pay for Life, Paid Vacation, Only work sometimes not even a whole 40 hours per week!!

In addition, the logic of the right doesn’t make sense. Poor, Republican, Whites are the ones who are welfare( majority) and don’t have educations – that’s the reason the repubs. can depend on them. Not educated enough to know the Rich guy doesn’t look out for the poor guy. There is a map that shows the educational levels and poverty levels of whites who voted republican even though the parties policies seek keep them in poverty.

Billy

August 21st, 2012
3:08 pm

Do ultra leftists truly have ANY arguments? They believe in communism, that all of us should be the same class, make the same money; listening to them is like reading 1984 again; same impractical, unrealistic nonsense. They tried that in the USSR and it didn’t work, but leftists don’t want historical examples and facts, they just want to whine about someone doing better than someone else, even if they earned it in an honest way. They’ll need the mother of all crying towels on November 8th…

Billy

August 21st, 2012
3:11 pm

Lynn, the GOP isn’t keeping anyone in poverty, quite the opposite, but drone on about the “rich.” The commies want to bring the big ones down, not lift the little ones up. How blind can the left be? Either they’re evil, and know better, or they’re hopelessly ignorant, and beyond all help. Whoever is indoctrinating all these people is a wizard…

peter

August 21st, 2012
3:39 pm

Really Billy ????? They believe in communism… and with the GOP creating larger government….. 1984 is happening because of the Bush policy’s.

Billy why did Reagan raise taxes ?

Drudge

August 21st, 2012
3:42 pm

Funny that Romney is evil because he is wealthy and owned companies that shipped jobs overseas – whereas Jobs was 100X wealthier, used the same tax shelters and manufactured every Apple product in China – yet he is considered a saint…because you like your iPhone…

peter

August 21st, 2012
3:44 pm

Drudge..

Did Jobs buy up American companies…. load them with debt, buy raiding them for commission……then bankrupted them, and ship the jobs over seas ?

Drudge

August 21st, 2012
3:49 pm

Peter – you should really familiarize yourself with the way VC firms, including Bain, really work. I am a partner at one based out of Dallas and can say with total certainty that you’re mistaken. You’ve been reading PAC bullets, not Bain’s folio. This is the same information that led people to believe Romney gave a woman cancer.

peter

August 21st, 2012
3:51 pm

Peter – you should really familiarize yourself with the way VC firms, including Bain, really work.

OK explain about how they did what they did to make money then.

Thank you !

JF

August 21st, 2012
4:13 pm

Really, Peter. You made the acusation and when confronted with your falicy you have to ask the other party what really happened. Arm yourself with fact BEFORE you enter a debate. Don’t ask your opponent to help you make your point. There is a quote that some attribute to Ben Franklin that says “it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt”.

Fool.

JRHD

August 21st, 2012
4:24 pm

Peter – you should also familiarize yourself with the English language. It is a wonderful tool if used properly. If used improperly, or in the hands of the uneducated, it can be as useful as a dull knife. Your previous post is rife with errors; mixed verb tense, syntax errors, incomplete thoughts and overall poor sentence structure.

VC firms target companies they think can make money for them, whether by increasing the target company’s Gross Profit through increased efficiencies or by identifying opportunities for dissolution. ROI for stockholders/investors is the name of the game. If you pay to play then you can reap the rewards. If you want to put your proverbial neck on the line then you should be rewarded financially. There is nothing inherently wrong with taking a gamble and being compensated for the risk you are taking. If you don’t like the rules of the game you don’t have to play. All of the hatred towards VC firms strikes me as jealousy and the fox complaining that those grapes were probably sour anyway.

Valerie Williams

August 21st, 2012
4:26 pm

NO, he does not have a case. How can you cross examine a dead person?

Drudge

August 21st, 2012
4:27 pm

How would loading debt into a commodity, filing chapter 11/14, make money Peter? We buy, sell, divide and merge to maximize ROI – sometimes that means parting out an unsustainable scenario. It isn’t always elegant but it’s the real world. We can let them collapse upon themselves or we can salvage the good; cut off the hand to save the arm. These are hard decisions and are not taken lightly but most of the time, we save many jobs whereas none would be spared without us. You might think this is evil at a cursory glance but I want you to know that we are in your 401K, we are in your money market account – when we do well, you retire early. We save countless more jobs than we claim because a healthy company is more of a commodity to us than empty buildings. Think what you want of VC but know that Romney can make these hard decisions because he has before. The Obama approach is communism – no company should ever outsource or cut jobs to turn a profit or remain viable.

Chuck

August 21st, 2012
4:27 pm

Billy,

Ultra leftists do typically support Communism. Ultra rightists typically support Fascism. Both have been proven to be terrible forms of government. Neither has very much support in America as most people’s politics lie somewhere in between. Stop putting left leaning groups in the wacko bucket as it’s just as unfair to put right leaning groups in the other wacko bucket. A Republican should be able to support increasing taxes and a Democrat should be able to support cutting entitlements without getting inaccurately labeled as something they are not. It’s worked in the past, read a history book if you don’t believe me. You read about Democrats and Republicans, who have almost the same values, who made this country great.

Oh and this guy had better have something in writing so he won’t get jack.

SKIP

August 21st, 2012
5:14 pm

he had a job….. as long as steve jobs was alive.

sam

August 21st, 2012
5:19 pm

I guess it is his word against Steve Jobs, and that isn’t quite fair is it? The time to have pressed this case was when Jobs was alive, and get something in writing for a term of years. “for life” just won’t cut it.

j rev

August 21st, 2012
5:24 pm

@William
So is a contract only enforceable in Liberal states? It would explain a lot.

catlady

August 21st, 2012
5:41 pm

Steve meant HIS lifetime. Like the cars with a lifetime warranty–that is a warranty for as long as the car will run!

Wondering

August 21st, 2012
6:02 pm

In most states, a contract with a duration of more than a year must be in writing to be enforceable. This is to avoid misunderstandings and fraud. No paper, no contract for life. The courts usually convert these to a year. Yes, I had one and received this advice from an attorney.

Teabaggage

August 21st, 2012
6:21 pm

I don’t know why Georgians are making fun of California – the state that gave us the great Republican stars Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon and Ah-nuld. As to him having a case, well, yes, obviously he has a case. Can he win? If he can prove his case, sure. If not, then, nope.

Not So Casual Observer

August 21st, 2012
6:45 pm

What happened to Peter? Sitting in a closet somehere waiting for an Obamabot to bail him out of his ignorant comments?

Liberals never have a solution, they only propose problems where none existed, tilt at windmills with financial support from others and generally destroy “good” to benefit their evil.

OhPlease

August 21st, 2012
6:47 pm

If he’s like the Goodrich’s that I knew in the past (probably completely unrelated but still funny they share the last name) he’ll sue til he’s used every penny he’s owned and then some. Then he’ll sue again cause he has no money and suing them cause him to loose what money he did have…it’s a never ending cycle of “entitlement”

Fred

August 21st, 2012
7:42 pm

@Lynn – your argument *might* make a better point if you weren’t repeating talking points filled with inaccuracies. I am no fan of our current or recent past congresses, but they don’t get “paid for life” other than a reasonable retirement based on service length. Look it up – http://snopes.com/politics/socialsecurity/pensions.asp is a good place to start.

CPA dood

August 21st, 2012
8:16 pm

I’ll try to avoid the political fray here… just a thought on the idea of a “contract” and “entitlement” to the guy’s restricted stock.
Yes, you can have binding verbal contracts, but something like a promise for a “job for life” without any other substantiation is simply not a verbal contract. If Steve Jobs called him and said “I promise to pay you $60K to be the executive producer for my new product debut”, then there may be a case… but this is just a little absurd.
As for the Restricted Stock… there has been talk of Apple screwing him out of his stock, something he was “entitled” to. I have to speak up here, because there is a contract here! All equity awards (options, restricted stock, etc) made to employees must be governed by a grant agreement which is a contract between the Company and the recipient. Under US GAAP (legal accounting standards for public companies such as Apple), all such awards must be forfeited upon termination (or else, all of these awards become Liabilities on the Company’s balance sheet, and a company like apple would recognize billions in expenses related to those awards). It is hard to imagine that a Company like Apple would EVER grant any awards that didn’t qualify for equity treatment under ASC 718, so we can safely assume that he was no longer entitled to those awards after he was terminated.