Apple manager ‘stunned’ by waddling allegation in unfair dismissal case

Will Reeves (48) said the accusation tainted his planned move to US

Mr Reeves, a father of five and a “competent, respected, hardworking employee” was receiving a salary with perks and bonuses, worth over €140,000 when his role at Apple in Cork was transferred to Cupertino, California.

Mr Reeves, a father of five and a “competent, respected, hardworking employee” was receiving a salary with perks and bonuses, worth over €140,000 when his role at Apple in Cork was transferred to Cupertino, California.

Fri, Sep 27, 2013, 01:01


A senior manager at computer giant Apple said he was haunted by a complaint that he had “waddled his butt” in front of US employees.

The company claims that he made himself redundant by not taking up a highly remunerated posting at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Will Reeves (48) said the accusation tainted his planned move to take up the role that Apple was investing €400,000 to create at its HQ in California. Mr Reeves, a former Cork-based Apple project management officer gave evidence for the first time yesterday on day four of a resumed employment appeals tribunal.

“I was absolutely stunned,” Mr Reeves said of the complaint against him. “I felt this was a stain on the starting off of my new life in the US. I’d been accused of something and felt I could not defend myself.”

Mr Reeves, a father of five and a “competent, respected, hardworking employee” was receiving a salary with perks and bonuses, worth over €140,000 when his role at Apple in Cork was transferred to Cupertino, California.


Scouting mission
He initially travelled to the US in August 2010 on a scouting mission to look at houses and check out schools.

During the trip, Mr Reeves had words with a member of his five-person global team, who later made the “waddling” allegation against him.

The team was interviewed by an internal group within Apple in the wake of the accusation and Mr Reeves was told by a US-based HR manager he had “nothing to worry about” in relation to the complaint.

“At the end of August I spoke to James [Verner, Apple’s global planning director] to advise him that the accusation had tainted the move,” Mr Reeves said.

However, Apple’s legal team argued that Mr Reeves had built his case on retrospect and the main issue at stake was that his job in Cork became redundant.


Reason
“His job was gone and he didn’t want to go to the States for whatever reason. This one job was sent off-shore. Thankfully in Apple’s case a whole lot more jobs come on-shore than go off-shore,” Tom Mallin SC said.

Arguing his case for unfair dismissal, Mr Reeves said he felt Mr Verner did not believe he was innocent of the allegations made in California.

“My view is that obviously certain people didn’t want me working with Apple anymore. I would say James Verner was a significant contributor to the ending of my career with Apple. I had no problem with having to move if I had to. I was flexible,” he said.

Mr Reeves received a termination letter in December 2010. Cathy Maguire BL claimed the financial losses to Mr Reeves amount to €189,000 for the 17-month period he was unemployed following his dismissal. Ms Maguire claimed her client also had company stock options valued at €500,000.

Mr Reeves took up a new role outside of Apple in May 2012, earning €110,000 gross annually. A decision is expected in the coming weeks.