Microsoft and Google Reach Settlement
Microsoft reached a settlement with Google Inc. and former employee Kai-Fu Lee, ending litigation over Google's hiring of Kai-Fu Lee, who led Microsoft's speech technologies initiatives.
Microsoft filed suit in July against Google and Kai-Fu Lee for violation of confidentiality and non-competition agreements that Lee had signed while working for Microsoft. Google counter-sued Microsoft in U.S. District Court claiming that Microsoft's lawsuit had no foundation.
"Microsoft, Dr. Lee and Google have reached an agreement that settles their pending litigation. The parties have entered into a private agreement that resolves all issues to their mutual satisfaction. The terms of the agreement are confidential and all parties have agreed to make no other statements to the media regarding it. We are pleased with the terms of the settlement agreement," said David Drummond, vice president corporate development and general counsel at Google.
Google Inc. had planned to open a product research and development center in China in Q3 of 2005, and hired computer scientist, Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, to lead the operation and serve as president of the company's Chinese operations.
Lee, who is known for his work in the areas of speech recognition and artificial intelligence, joined Google from Microsoft, where he most recently held the position of corporate vice president, after founding Microsoft Research China in the late 1990s. In this position, Lee managed speech, natural language interfaces, advanced search and help, and authoring and learning technologies. Prior to joining Microsoft, Lee was a vice president and general manager at Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI), responsible for Internet and multimedia software. Lee also spent six years at Apple, serving as vice president of the company's interactive media group, and before that was an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University.
The settlement's confidential terms make it unclear what tasks Dr. Lee can perform until his non-compete agreement runs out.
Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, president engineering, product and public affairs for Google China, stated, "I am pleased with the terms of the settlement agreement."