A former Apple employee, Wayne Goodrich, is suing Apple for firing him, claiming he was fired for no legitimate reason. Goodrich filed the complaint on August 17, stating Apple fired him for “business reasons,” having nothing to do with performance, despite Steve Jobs having previously guaranteed his job.
Goodrich began working for Apple in 1998 and was promised by Jobs in a one-on-one meeting with the late CEO in May of 2005 that he would always have a job at Apple. According to Goodrich, this meeting took place after Jobs’ return to work from a medical leave to receive cancer treatment.
According to the complaint, Goodrich was executive producer of Apple’s public presentations, which included all new product releases, and was involved in the creative process for developing the presentations and working with Jobs to prepare the events. He also said he played a key role in working with Jobs to plan major product events such as the debut of the iPhone and iPad. Goodrich states that one of his major accomplishments at Apple was introducing the company to Siri, after being the first Apple employee to meet with the company that developed the technology.
Goodrich is suing Apple for breach of contract and unfair business practices and is seeking damages for lost restricted stock units, wages, benefits, and emotional distress. He wants compensation for the loss of restricted stock that was worth $97.40 a share when awarded in 2008 and about $635 a share as of Aug. 17. Goodrich’s lawyer, Phil Horowitz, wrote in the complaint that Apple fired him to avoid paying the restricted stock.
Goodrich was also allegedly assured by Jobs, again in 2010, that he would be given another job at Apple if anything happened to his position and Jobs wasn’t around.
Spokesman for the Cupertino, California-based Apple, Steve Dowling, declined to comment on this lawsuit.