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Apple, Google Pull Worker Switcharoos

Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Google Inc. (GOOG) have pulled an employee switcharoo and the details are coming to light.

Apple snagged R.J. Pittman, formerly a product manager at Google, and Google landed former Apple software developer Tim Bray.

The Bray hire is definitely the most interesting, given Bray’s pointed comments about Apple on his personal blog. On Monday, he wrote that he’ll enjoy competing with Apple because Google appreciates “freedom.”

“The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s future omits controversy, sex, and freedom [and] includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what,” Bray wrote. “It’s a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord’s pleasure and fear his anger. I hate it.”

He was referring to Apple’s recent purge of more than 5,000 “overtly sexy” apps from the App Store.

Bray will work on the Android mobile platform.

Meanwhile, Pittman joined Apple in what he’s only calling a “pretty neat role.” TechCrunch is speculating that Pittman will oversee the employees Apple took on when it bought streaming music service Lala. Pittman has worked with Google’s music search technology unit.

Apple and Google have had an agreement for some time that they wouldn’t pick off each others’ employees. It seems that deal is off the table, with both companies escalating their rivalry.


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