The competition heats up: A computer chip manufacturer has sued SpaceX, accusing it of stealing both its engineers and the computer chips they were designing.
Broadcom’s co-founder and chief technology officer Henry Samueli met with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk in October 2015 in attempts to solidify an agreement, at which time Musk insisted Broadcom keep its “A-team” on the project, according to the complaint.
But even as Samueli and Musk were meeting, other SpaceX representatives were attempting to uncover the identities of the “A-team” engineers working on the Space X project, Broadcom says in its complaint. Five Broadcom engineers – all of whom worked on the SpaceX project – resigned their positions with the company effective March 11, and refused to disclose their new employer, according to the complaint. Broadcom says SpaceX confirmed they hired the five engineers on March 9, saying nothing prevented them from hiring other Broadcom engineers.
For its part, SpaceX says the Broadcom engineers – all named as defendants in Broadcom’s complaint – approached them. “SpaceX did not pursue or lure engineers from Broadcom,” a SpaceX spokesman said. “On the contrary, these engineers reached out to SpaceX anticipating significant layoffs at the Broadcom Irvine location.”