Seagate gave a man a non-existent job

Hard-drive maker Seagate uprooted a man and his family with promises of a non-existent job in the hope of making a product look like a goer to help it sell one of its divisions, a US court was told.

Chandramouli Vaidyanathan had sought $2.7 million in damages, contending that he had to uproot his family to take a job at Seagate’s Advanced Technology Group facility in Minnesota for a job that didn’t exist. The jury decided that $1.9 million was a little more realistic.

Vaidyanathan had been working for Texas Instruments in Dallas in 2008 when he took a job with Seagate as a yield engineer.

According to ComputerWorld, he quit his position at Texas Instruments and moved his wife and two school-aged children to Minnesota.

But when Vaidyanathan arrived in Minnesota, the disk drive he was supposed to be working on was still in early development. He was not needed and he was laid off nine months later, Snyder said.

He was fired because the product never came to fruition, it is alleged. Yet the court heard that when Vaidyanathan was hired, the company was attempting to sell or find a business partner for the Advanced Technology Group.

To make the deal go through, it was important to have a yield engineer on staff to give the appearance of a complete organisation with a project that was further along in development. It did not work, it is alleged.

The amount of time Vaidyanathan was away from his chosen profession, both at Seagate and during the litigation, ended his career as a yield engineer,and he now runs a company that installs solar panels

It’s a growing business, but it’s a fraction of the income he earned as a yield engineer,  the court heard.