According to Mark Ames of Pando Daily, Apples Steve Jobs and Googles Eric Schmidt "sealed a secret and illegal pact [...] to artificially push their workers wages lower by agreeing not to recruit each others employees, sharing wage scale information, and punishing violators." Additionally, it turns out that the wage-fixing involved a cartel of a "dozen more companies," such as Lucasfilm, Pixar, IBM, Dell and Microsoft, impacting the incomes of "well over a million employees."
Over the next two years, as the tech industry entered another frothing bubble, the secret wage-theft pact which began with Apple, Google and Pixar expanded to include Intuit and Intel. The secret agreements were based on relationships, and those relationships were forged in Silicon Valleys incestuous boards of directors, which in the past has been recognized mostly as a problem for shareholders and corporate governance advocates, rather than for the tens of thousands of employees whose wages and lives are viscerally affected by their clubby backroom deals. Intel CEO Paul Otellini joined Googles board of directors in 2004, a part-time gig that netted Otellini $23 million in 2007, with tens of millions more in Google stock options still in his name which worked out to $464,000 per Google board event if you only counted the stock options Otellini cashed out dwarfing what Otellini made off his Intel stock options, despite spending most of his career with the company.
Meanwhile, Eric Schmidt served on Apples board of directors until 2009, when a DoJ antitrust investigation pushed him to resign. Intuits chairman at the time, Bill Campbell, also served on Apples board of directors, and as official advisor consigliere to Google chief Eric Schmidt, until he resigned from Google in 2010. Campbell, a celebrated figure (a quasi-religious force for good in Silicon Valley) played a key behind-the-scenes role connecting the various CEOs into the wage-theft pact. Steve Jobs, who took regular Sunday walks with Campbell near their Palo Alto homes, valued Campbell for his ability to get A and B work out of people, gushing that the conduit at the center of the $9 billion wage theft suit, loves people, and he loves growing people.
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