RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK –  Big Blue has sued to stop what it described as a “top 1% of IBM’s highest-ranking executives” from taking an executive position at Microsoft. It’s the second IBM-Microsoft fight over a senior executive in two years.

A restraining order has been issued to stop the executive – Rodrigo Kede Lima – from joining Microsoft until mid-July as the suit proceeds.

In 2018, IBM sued Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, a UNC-Chapel Hill graduate and a Morehead Scholar who earned her MBA at Duke, to block her from taking over as chief diversity officer at Microsoft. She joined Microsoft shortly after the suit was filed.

“Lima is violating his noncompetition agreement by seeking immediate employment at the highest levels of Microsoft,” the complaint reads, “where he cannot avoid exploiting his IBM client relationships and using his knowledge of IBM confidential business plans to face off against IBM.”

Lima denied that his taking the vice president for Latin America would hurt IBM where he has worked for 25 years.

“My work at Microsoft will not put IBM at any competitive disadvantage whatsoever,” he said, according to

IBM also wants back nearly $1.3 million of stock options.

In January of 2020 Lima was named general manager of integrated accounts at IBM.

IBM sues to stop UNC grad from becoming chief diversity officer at Microsoft


IBM sues to stop a former executive from working for Microsoft