Friends Turn Foes: Microsoft and Facebook at Loggerheads Over Talent Grab

Furious over a recent talent grab of its top advertising exec by Facebook, Microsoft has been considering a wide range of options, including legal action to block the move, report Kara Swisher of AllThingsD.Facebook recently hired Microsoft's global ad sales head Carolyn Everson. That sparked a deeper look at how Facebook may be going after […]

Furious over a recent talent grab of its top advertising exec by Facebook, Microsoft has been considering a wide range of options, including legal action to block the move, report Kara Swisher of AllThingsD.

Facebook recently hired Microsoft's global ad sales head Carolyn Everson. That sparked a deeper look at how Facebook may be going after Microsoft's talent. And Microsoft may potentially use legal action to prevent Everson from working at Facebook. It wouldn't be the first time Microsoft used legal measures to prevent former employees from working at other companies.

Whatever happens, it's clear the Everson hiring has infuriated Microsoft execs, especially CEO Steve Ballmer, since the company regards Facebook as a close partner. Microsoft's also a longtime investor in Facebook.

While considering a temporary restraining order against Everson in this kind of situation--since it is essentially the same job--is standard operating procedure for any company, several sources said tensions are higher than usual.

"This's just tone deaf on Facebook's part not to think this wouldn't be a problem," said one person.

One particularly irksome aspect--top Facebook execs did not call Ballmer before news of the appointment leaked out to assuage the situation.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, "Microsoft was one of our earliest partners and is still one of our most valued," she said, in part. "We look forward to continuing to expand our relationship with them."

[Source]