NuviaSource: Crunchbase

What you need to know

  • Gerard Williams III is a former Apple exec who co-founded Nuvia.
  • Apple is suing him for poaching team members.
  • Now he's suing Apple for the same thing.

Gerard Williams III is the former Apple chip exec that the company accuses of poaching talent for his new chip design firm. The matter is working its way through the courts now, but Williams is fighting back. He's accusing Apple of poaching his people in a counter-suit.

Gerard Williams III, who last year left his job as lead chip architect at Apple and co-founded Nuvia Inc., fired back with counter-claims against his former employer over its breach-of-contract lawsuit. He claims Apple tried to stop his firm from hiring its engineers while simultaneously recruiting staff from Nuvia.

Williams is also going out all guns blazing, saying that Apple's lawesuit is designed to suffocate creation in the chip industry, according to a new Bloomberg report.

Apple's lawsuit is designed "suffocate the creation of new technologies and solutions by a new business, and to diminish the freedom of entrepreneurs to seek out more fulfilling work," according to a filing by Williams late Thursday in state court in San Jose, California.

Williams recently failed in a bid to have all of Apple's charges related to his use of company time and resources dismissed.

Willaims also says that he raised the idea of developing cloud server chips while he was at Apple, but the suggestion was knocked back. Now his new company is doing exactly that.

Nuvia is developing a chip to power cloud servers. Williams, who spent nearly a decade at Apple, says he raised the possibility of developing such technology years ago, but the idea was rejected by then-chief executive officer Steve Jobs, who died in 2011, and by Johny Srouji, who's now Apple's head of hardware technology, because they thought it would detract from the company's work on consumer facing technology.

Oddly, Williams says that the parting of the ways was amicable when he left Apple. He even received a pretty great parting gift, too.

He says Apple went to great lengths to keep him from leaving, including an offer from Srouji for a six-month paid sabbatical to stay. At a going-away party, the company gave Williams a one-off iPad engraved with signatures from top Apple executives, according to the filing.

Things have clearly gone south ever since.