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Amazon Sues to Guard Secrets about Its Operations

According to his Linkedin profile, Arthur Valdez had been with Amazon since September 1999, with a background running the company’s fulfillment, transportation, and logistics operations.

So imagine Amazon’s chagrin to learn he accepted a position at Target to head its operations and help it leverage its 1,800 stores “to deliver a seamless experience for our guests,” as Target wrote in a press release.

So important is the knowledge Valdez obtained in his 16 years at Amazon that his former employee is now suing him to prohibit him from engaging in any activities that directly or indirectly support Target’s supply chain and logistics operations for a period of 18 months, beginning March 1, 2016, and prohibiting him from disclosing confidential or proprietary information or trade secrets.

ZDnet wrote about the lawsuit, and said, “in a nutshell, Amazon is worried about losing its competitive edge in logistics and fulfillment – two areas that have been critical to the e-tailer’s success. Factor in the race for same-day delivery or even same-hour delivery, and it becomes clear why Amazon is up in arms over potentially handing over its highly guarded secrets to one of its top competitors.” ZDnet also links to the complaint filed by Amazon.

A Target spokesperson told EcommerceBytes, “We have taken significant precautions to ensure that any proprietary information remains confidential and we believe this suit is without merit. However, as this is pending litigation we are not going to comment further at this time.”

An Amazon spokesperson told EcommerceBytes, “We have a longstanding practice of not commenting on pending litigation.”

The Wall Street Journal included this interesting nugget in its coverage: “Amazon said Mr. Valdez’s total compensation was more than $1 million annually.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.