Former DXC Connect general manager, Rob McCabe, has been hit with legal action over alleged confidentiality breaches in a legal case that extends to several people from the business’s ranks.
DXC Technology launched the legal action in early August against several members of its leadership ranks in Australia who, it is understood, may have been in a position to allegedly migrate, potentially en masse, to fellow system integrator, Data#3.
Among those at the receiving end of the case, which has been brought by DXC Technology in the NSW Supreme Court, is national solutions manager of the company’s DXC Connect business – formerly UXC Connect – Stephen Deibe, along with McCabe.
Indeed, the several defendants named in the case are largely from DXC Connect’s leadership and upper management ranks.
McCabe resigned as general manager of DXC Connect on 21 June 2017, giving three months’ notice, according to court documents, and was placed on “gardening leave” in late July.
McCabe, like many other DXC Connect personnel, was with the business since before its acquisition by CSC in early 2016.
The organisation was then folded into the DXC Technology brand when CSC merged with Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) Enterprise Services business in April, creating IT services powerhouse, DXC Technology.
A judgement handed down on 31 August by the NSW Supreme Court’s Justice Ashley Black, granted DXC Technology an interlocutory injunction restraining McCabe from disclosing or using “specified information” belonging to the integrator.
Specifically, DXC Technology had sought an order restraining McCabe from using or disclosing its confidential information and restraining him from being employed, engaged or contracted by or working for potential rival, Data#3, directly or indirectly, until further order or by March next year.
DXC also sought an order requiring McCabe to produce to the court each computer, mobile phone, USB storage device or other electronic storage device that he has used since 1 May 2017, for inspection by DXC.
The court documents show that DXC Technology alleges McCabe made a number of copies of information that could be construed as “potentially commercially sensitive”. McCabe’s legal team have denied that allegation.
However, DXC has sought to establish the confidentiality of the information held by McCabe on the basis that it differentiates itself from its competition by pricing of products, sourced from alliance partners with which it deals.
While the court ruling handed down on 31 August relates only to McCabe, it sheds light on the broader legal action being taken by DXC Connect against the DXC Connect alumni named as defendants in the case.
According to the court documents, DXC Connect interim director, Rob Kohler, who stepped in to fill McCabe’s role when he departed, gave evidence referring to several documents which had been identified by forensic examination and were the subject of evidence of forensic information technology specialist, Peter Chapman.
According to Justice Black, the documents presented by Kohler suggest an alleged “degree of planning and coordination as to the circumstances in which several employees of DXC would resign from DXC and join Data#3”.
Further, Justice Black said that the documents indicated that information of projected financial targets was allegedly provided to Data#3, which is “broadly similar to the sort of information which is produced for DXC’s (and, I interpolate, many businesses’) planning purposes”.
There was also evidence, according to Justice Black, that information was allegedly provided to Data#3 relating to clients which would be targeted by employees moving to it. But this alone was not entirely incriminating, according to Justice Black.
“That evidence is substantially undermined by the fact that a significant amount of information as to particular clients and the revenue derived from their projects, including government clients, was in the public domain,” he said.
According to Justice Black, it appears that McCabe decided to leave DXC by May 2017 and was allegedly in contact with Data#3 by mid-May 2017.
“On 23 May 2017, a UDisk USB storage device was connected to Mr McCabe’s laptop computer used in connection with his work at DXC,” Justice Black said in his judgement. “[However], the evidence does not establish whether any information was copied to that device by Mr McCabe.”
In his evidence to the court, Kohler alleged that 12 other employees of DXC also resigned between 20 June 2017 and 7 July 2017, giving four weeks’ notice, and it appears that some or all of those employees will allegedly commence employment with Data#3.
“It appears that the employees who resigned were responsible for a significant amount of revenue within DXC’s business,” Justice Black said.
Read more on the next page...
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.