Ex-Apple employee Wayne Goodrich has sued his former company for firing him. He claims to have been a close confidant to Steve Jobs, and says the late company co-founder promised him lifetime employment.
Mr. Goodrich worked at Apple from 1998 until he was terminated in December of 2011. In his complaint, he is claiming that he was terminated so that Apple wouldn’t have to pay restricted stock units he had earned during his employment.
Goodrich, who says he was the executive producer of Apple’s public presentations, stated that that the company terminated him for what they said were “business reasons” not connected to his performance. In his suit, he is asking for damages for lost restricted stock units, wages, benefits and emotional distress.
He’s seeking compensation for loss of restricted stock that was worth $97.40 a share when awarded in 2008 and about $635 a share as of Aug. 17.
“This express promise by Steve Jobs was consistent with a practice that Steve Jobs had, acting on behalf of defendant Apple, of promising job security to certain key employees who worked directly with him for many years,” Mr. Goodrich said in his complaint.
Goodrich says he was the executive producer of all of Apple’s public presentations, including the famous Steve Jobs keynotes, which became a key part of Apple’s strategy for introducing new devices. He said he worked directly with Jobs to plan the events.
He says that during a meeting with Jobs in 2005 after the Apple CEO returned from his first medical leave of absence, Jobs told him that there would always be a job for him at Apple, even if something should happen to him. Jobs died in October 2011, Goodrich was terminated less than three months later.
A spokesperson for the Cupertino, California-based electronics giant declined to comment on the lawsuit.