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Amazon sues former executive hired by Target

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Suit seeks to block Valdez from joining competitor

SEATTLE — Inc. has filed suit against Arthur Valdez, its former senior supply chain and logistics operator, seeking to prevent him from starting a new job with Target Corp.

Arthur Valdez

Arthur Valdez

Target announced last month that it had hired Valdez to serve as executive vice president, chief supply chain and logistics officer. Valdez, who is due to start with Target on March 28, was to lead Target’s supply chain transformation including planning, distribution and transportation.

In its lawsuit, filed Monday in King County Superior Court in Washington state, Amazon contends that Valdez had signed a noncompetition agreement requiring him to wait 18 months after leaving Amazon before working for a rival firm.

“Mr. Valdez’s employment by Target to lead its supply chain, or in any other capacity supporting Target’s supply chain and transportation operations, will necessarily involve direct and indirect competition with Amazon for Amazon’s existing or prospective customers, target markets and/or business partners,” the lawsuit contends, “and therefore breach the noncompetition agreement and result in the disclosure of Amazon’s highly confidential information and trade secrets. Mr. Valdez cannot lead Target’s supply chain operations without referencing confidential information learned and developed by him at Amazon to drive superior performance in exactly the same areas.”

Amazon’s lawsuit seeks an injunction preventing Valdez from taking the Target job for 18 months, and also seeks unspecified monetary damages.




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