Amazon is suing an executive who recently left the company to go to work for Target, charging that his move violates his contract’s non-compete clause.
The executive, Arthur Valdez, had been vice president of operations for Amazon, overseeing its supply chain and logistics operations. He is scheduled to start his new job as chief supply chain and logistics officer at Target on Monday, March 28.
Target actually issued a press release trumpeting the fact that it hired Valdez late last month.
“Target’s growth hinges on our ability to enhance the fundamental aspects of our business, starting with our supply chain,” Target chief operating officer John Mulligan said. “Arthur’s leadership and experience will be a tremendous asset.”
The suit says that Valdez has been involved with Amazon’s plans through 2019, including its one-hour delivery service, its move into grocery sales and its robotics efforts.
“This information is deeply proprietary and is directly used when shaping Amazon’s competition against Target,” said the suit.
The suit asks the court to block him from going to Target for at least 18 months, and that he return any documents and files he might have taken with him when he left Amazon.
Valdez earned more than $1 million a year at Amazon, according to the suit, which should ensure that he isn’t “subject to undue hardship” by the 18-month non-compete clause he agreed to.
The suit, which was filed Monday in state court in Seattle, doesn’t actually name Target. But Target issued a statement this week saying it took “significant precautions to ensure that any proprietary information remains confidential,” and that it believes the suit has no merit.
Neither Amazon nor Valdez responded to a request for comment.