IBM sues former Thai CEO after she moves to competitor

One of the world’s largest technology companies, the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), filed a lawsuit against the former Thai CEO of IBM Thailand, Patama Chantaruk, after she moved to work for the competitor before the non-disclosure agreement ended.

According to a Bloomberg report, the 56 year old Patama joined IBM Thailand in 2018 as managing director and quit at the beginning of 2022. IBM offered Patama a severance package of US$470,000 (15.9 million baht) in the non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

Patama was bound by the NDA which prohibited her from working in the same industry or disclosing any confidential IBM information for a specific period of time as per the contract. Despite this, Patama took up a job as a managing director with a competitor, Accenture, in April 2022, just one month after resigning from IBM. The exact duration of the restriction period has not been disclosed by the company.

IBM attempted to negotiate with Patama to return the money, which was part of the agreement, by January 9 of this year. However, Patama refused to comply with the request, prompting IBM to file a lawsuit against her in a federal court located in New York where the company is headquartered.

IBM and Accenture are two of the world’s largest and most well-known technology companies. They are competitors in the data analytic industry, digital transformation, and consulting companies on technology.

In recent years, the two companies have been fierce rivals in the area of digital transformation, with both companies offering services and solutions to help businesses navigate the challenges of digital disruption and transform their operations to stay competitive in the digital age.

Patama graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from the Faculty of Science Prince of Songkla University, and she continued her master’s degree in MBA International Finance at Washington State University.

She has over 30 years of experience in the information technology industry in Southeast Asia and has worked for several leading tech companies, such as Microsoft, before moving to IBM and Accenture.

Patama has received several awards that highlight her talent, including a Stevie Award for Female Executive of the Year in 2018, Top Businesswoman in 2019, and Woman of the Year in 2021 from Bangkok Post.

IBM sues former Thai CEO after she moves to competitor | News by Thaiger

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.